VIDEO: Angelina Jolie Visits Refugees in Thailand

From UNHCR’s YouTube Page: “UNHCR goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie and her partner Brad Pitt visited Ban Mai Nai Soi refugee camp in Mae Hong Son, Thailand, which is home to 18,111 mainly Karenni refugees from Myanmar”

It sort of goes without saying that Angelina Jolie’s value as a celebrity-diplomat is her ability to draw attention to the issue she champions. That’s the point. But what is sometimes less explored are the trickle-down effects of this kind of attention–effects that are acutely felt by a mid-sized global issues blog like one.

Let me show you what I mean.

By simply writing “Video: Angelina Jolie..” in the title of this post, UN Dispatch will receive a not-insignificant bump in traffic. It happens every time — and we are grateful for it. Because you, Brangelina fan, are now primed for our own pitch on refugees.

And here it goes.

Most people would be surprised to learn that malaria is the leading cause of death for refugees around the world. Sad, but true. The thing is, malaria is quite easily preventable. One simple, cost effective way to reduce the chances of contracting malaria is by sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net. In fact, when bed nets are properly used and widely distributed, malaria rates can drop by 90%. (Bill Gates concurs).

The United Nations Foundation, (which sponsors this blog) has an on-going campaign through Nothing But Nets to cover over 600,000 refugees with anti-malaria bed nets. Through Nothing But Nets individuals can donate $10 to send an insecticide-treated bed net to a refugee family.

Until the day that a malaria vaccine becomes widely available, bed nets are one of the best stop-gap measures to control malaria, particularly in refugee situations. So, Jolie-Pitt fans, consider this your invitation to get involved, send a net, and save a life.