Thirteen Bosnian refugees moved into a new US-financed apartment building named after Angelina Jolie last week.
Villa Angelina was built in the Bosnian city of Rogatica and funded by a US Government donation of $500,000 made following the actress’ two visits to Bosnia last year. The trips were facilitated by the UNHCR, and saw Angelina meet with the Chair of the Presidency, Haris Silajdžic, and Presidency member Željko Komšic.
During the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, almost half of the country’s population was displaced. Recognising the enormity of the displacement, Jolie stated that “the consequences of such a tragedy cannot be undone, however we have a responsibility to do all in our power to reduce the pain by helping those who need assistance. In doing so, we contribute to overcoming divides and building a better future for all the people of the country”.
UNHCR has worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1992, and during the war undertook one of the largest relief operations ever organized. Of the country’s remaining 113,000 internally displaced people, some 7,000 are still living in collective accommodation centres created more than 15 years ago and intended only as temporary housing. UNHCR provides support for these people as well as a further 7,000 refugees from Croatia and those members of the country’s Roma community who are at risk of statelessness.
Villa Angelina is the only building that has been built in Rogatica since the war of the early 1990s.
“It’s a real pleasure to be here, to see these people, how happy they are to establish their new homes in Villa Angelina,” said Patrick Moon, the U.S. ambassador to Bosnia, told the Associated Press.