Angelina Jolie visits Yemen as Ukraine crisis deepens: "Everyone deserves the same compassion"

"We cannot be selective about who deserves support and whose rights we defend," Jolie says

By Joy Saha

Published March 7, 2022 7:30PM (EST)

Actress Angelina Jolie (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Actress Angelina Jolie (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

As Russia continues its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, actor Angelina Jolie is using her platform to shine a light on the ongoing armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen, declaring that "everyone deserves the same compassion."

Jolie, who is a special envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), took to Instagram on Sunday to reveal that she was in the city of Aden to meet with displaced families and show her support for the people of Yemen.

"The situation here is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with one civilian killed or injured every hour in 2022," Jolie captioned the post. "An economy devastated by war, and over 20 million Yeminis depending on humanitarian assistance to survive."

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Jolie simultaneously acknowledged the war in Ukraine, calling for an "immediate end" to the bloodshed in both countries. 

"As we continue to watch the horrors unfolding in Ukraine, and call for an immediate end to the conflict and humanitarian access, I'm here in Yemen to support people who also desperately need peace," Jolie wrote.

"This week a million people were forced to flee the horrific war in Ukraine. If we learn anything from this shocking situation, it is that we cannot be selective about who deserves support and whose rights we defend. Everyone deserves the same compassion," she added. "The lives of civilian victims of conflict everywhere are of equal value. After seven years of war, the people of Yemen also need protection, support, and above all, peace."

Jolie has frequently used her platform to highlight the human faces who are impacted by war. In 2020, she made an "extremely generous" donation to two youngsters from London who opened a lemonade stand to raise funds for Yemen.


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In another recent Instagram post, Jolie shared that she was "praying for the people in Ukraine" following Russia's full-scale military invasion. She emphasized that her "focus along with my UNHCR colleagues is that everything possible is done to ensure the protection and basic human rights of those displaced, and refugees in the region."

"We have already seen reports of casualties and people starting to flee their homes to seek safety," Jolie continued. "It is too soon to know what will happen, but the significance of this moment — for the people of Ukraine, and for the international rule of law — cannot be overstated."

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Joy Saha

Joy Saha is an editorial fellow at Salon, covering Culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Angelina Jolie Brief Refugees Ukraine Yemen