September 8th, 2010
10:54 AM ET

Jolie's plea on Pakistan floods: 'We have to support them'

For Angelina Jolie, the scale and impact of the floods that have devastated Pakistan are apparent on the faces of those she meets.

She saw it in the eyes of a couple in their 70s - a husband who served twice in the military and built his house by himself for his family, one they've lived in for nearly 40 years.

"The man spoke to the fact that he never felt in his lifetime he is ever going to be able to recuperate what he lost," Jolie told Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent. "That he would never have again nice things. He would never have a nice bed, a nice house. And she - they lived in this place since 1972. And raised their children and their grandchildren there. In a moment, a few hours, it was completely gone."

Jolie spoke to Gupta during her fourth trip to Pakistan as a spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency to help bring awareness to the country in the wake of devastating floods that have affected 21 million people.

It's a scene Jolie said may be hard for some to understand - especially because of how far away it is. If people saw the eyes of the children pleading for help, perhaps they'd understand the Pakistanis' will to live, she said.

"If they met all these children [who are] so resilient and are still children and so full of life and love and hope," Jolie said that she thinks people would grasp the situation better.

"I think it is - this part of the world, they are resilient people. Think of all that they have been hit with. They continue to move on, to rebuild."

Jolie said she wasn't sure what she'd see when she got to Pakistan. But after touring villages, the trip evoked a cause close to home for her - reminding her of the work Brad Pitt is doing in New Orleans, Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina. It's a comparison she said she hopes will help people understand why they need to send aid.

"I thought I'm going to see a lot of wet areas and tents, and what I saw was if people could think about New Orleans and the scale of that and how devastating that was. ... There was so much that was full of toxic materials and death and that's on a huge scale, and this is no different."

Any conflict in the area shouldn't prevent people from caring, Jolie said.

"We have to support them," Jolie said. "For all the people worried about conflict in this part of the world, they think it is far away and don't understand the corruption. The only way to make for a healthier, more hopeful, stronger Pakistan and Afghanistan is to help support education and help people, especially in this time of need, and not allow for more devastation and more desperation."

soundoff (243 Responses)
  1. Shneeky

    I certainly don't think it's unreasonable to expect the American public to have misgivings about donating ANY money to countries that, when the times are "good", would burn our countries flag, kill our soldiers (or civilians for that matter) and spit in the face of our democracy. There are too many causes and needs worldwide and we have to choose to donate to the ones that are important to us as individuals and I will not fault anyone that thinks charity starts at home and neither should some of you ultra-bleeding hearts! I have to agree – let Pakistans neighbors and other allies help them out for a change!

    September 8, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bob

    I commend Angelie for her pleas for aid to Pakistan and I'm sure its easy for her and those like her to make and encourage such donations. However, what about those struggling in America? What about those who are losing their homes? What about those who are homeless and hungry and without jobs? Why is the United States pillaging our pot to help foreign countries before they help their own? Please don't take this wrong as I support compassion and giving, but aren't we biting off our nose to spite our face?

    September 9, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. standingby

    What happened to the over 50 Million U.S. dollars that was already given to help the Pakistanian people after the floods????? Who really gets and KEEPS that money. It doesn't seem like the needy have gotten ANY of it!!!

    September 10, 2010 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
    • brad

      You're correct. She said....... "We have to support them," Jolie said, "For all the people worried about conflict in this part of the world, they think it is far away and don't understand the corruption. Why assist a country when the corruption is going to take divert the funds anyway? Why contribute to a already corrupt system. Could there be another way of doing this?

      September 15, 2010 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. JSL

    Excuse me Angelina are these not the same people that we saw in the news just yesterday burning our flag and saying Death to Americans because of the New York 9-11 mess. When they need help we are the first ones they call. There is no loyalty with any of these countries maybe they need a dose of reality. So sorry but if they want us dead how can we help? Hey Ang why don't you adopt the whole country....

    September 10, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sarah


    September 11, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. marisabella

    If all of you are so scared about Al Queda you should be more scare about all the fast food restaurants they are killing the new generation of people ,we have more obesity,diabetes,heart diseases than years before people is dying younger what a future? Before you buying a good burger w/fries just donate the money to a any organization of your preference you going to add one more day to your life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 12, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. toby reese

    Pakistan seems to be riding the fence on our "war on terror". You can't denounce our greed as evil and then use the spoils of it to rebuild your country.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
  8. moussa

    Our media and our columnists are there only to criticize or they should guide the public in concrete terms how can they bring change and which party is a better choice?? Please answer this question and then read the columns by your colleagues and your own writings.As nation we are looking forward to any honest and active politician in the state of Pakistan. .DO vote BUT not IDOTS AGAIN. ....

    November 1, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. moussa

    .As nation we are looking forward to any honest and active politician in the state of Pakistan. .DO vote BUT not IDOTS AGAIN. ....

    November 1, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
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