Sun, 11 Apr 2021

British actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw was on Wednesday appointed a global Goodwill Ambassador with the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

Ms. Mbatha-Raw highlighted the need to support refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to work in support of refugees and help amplify their voices. I am always amazed by their courage and strength in the face of such seemingly insurmountable odds and it's a real honour to play a part in sharing their stories", she said.

"The Covid crisis has made us all aware of the fragility of the lives we build and the importance of doing all we can to support those who have had to leave the place they call home", she added.

"The crisis has also taught us that, in this interconnected world, we are only as strong as the most vulnerable in society. Inclusion of refugees is vital in ensuring the wellbeing of whole communities."

Ms. Mbatha-Raw is no stranger to UNHCR as she has been working as a High-Profile Supporter for the agency since 2018.

She has spent time in the field, including visiting Burundian and Congolese refugees in Rwanda and Uganda, meeting with women who survived conflict-related sexual violence and also with youth living with albinism.

The new Goodwill Ambassador has also taken part in UNHCR's campaign, challenging xenophobia and advocating for stronger partnerships to find solutions to global displacement.

She also contributed to the agency's COVID-19 awareness appeal and to , a partnership between UNHCR and IMDb, the online movie database, to raise funds for the Covid Solidarity Appeal.

"We appreciate Gugu Mbatha-Raw's heartfelt advocacy and support for refugees and welcome her to the UNHCR family. We look forward to continuing our work together to help raise attention on the issues and needs facing refugees", said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.

"Now more than ever, in the context of the unprecedented impact of the COVID pandemic, the voices of refugees - some of the most marginalized and forgotten people on earth - need to be heard and amplified".

© UNHCR/Caroline IrbyGugu Mbatha-Raw (centre) sits with a refugee at a women's centre in the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda in 2019.

Ms. Mbatha-Raw is known for her award-winning role in the 2013 film , and has starred in other projects, most recently .

She will next be seen in the Marvel limited series set to premier in June on the Disney+ streaming service.

In 2014, the star visited UN Headquarters in New York to discuss her film role in '', as part of the organization's commemorations of the devastating Transatlantic slave trade that year. Watch the video below for more details:

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