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Geneva (Reuters): Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has recorded a television message for World Refugee Day and stations have rushed to air the 30-second footage, the United Nations refugee agency said. Jolie, a goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), recorded the appeal in April in Namibia, before her daughter with Brad Pitt, Shiloh, was born on May 27.
''I'm Angelina Jolie. For the millions of displaced persons around the world, please help keep their hope alive and remember World Refugee Day,'' the American actress, sporting a tank-top and light-brown headscarf, said yesterday in a brief message. The annual day, honouring some 20 million people who have fled conflict or persecution, is being observed at events in more than 100 countries under the theme of ''Hope'' on June 20. The Geneva-based agency has been deluged with calls from stations seeking to air the spot, which shows refugees and aid convoys in several field operations, including Afghanistan.
It can be viewed on the site www.unhcr.org, but is also available in beta film for stations, officials said. ''We just started offering it Wednesday, and a lot of TV networks have been asking for it,'' UNHCR chief spokesman Ron Redmond said. Shannon Boyd, who manages the agency's goodwill ambassador programme, told Reuters: ''One station in Spain started running it twice an hour. We are very pleased.'' Since joining UNHCR in early 2001, Jolie has travelled to some 20 countries, drawing attention to refugees' plight in hotspots from Cambodia to Kosovo and Sudan's Darfur region.