Jolie, Pitt donate $2 million for kids in Ethiopia

Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:43pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Angelina Jolie and partner Brad Pitt have donated $2 million to create a center, named after their adopted daughter, Zahara, for Ethiopian children affected by AIDS and tuberculosis.

The Global Health Committee said the donation from the Jolie-Pitt Foundation would establish a center in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to treat AIDS orphans and develop a program to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis.

The Oscar-winning Jolie adopted a baby girl she called Zahara, now 3 years old, from Ethiopia in July 2005 and the new clinic will be named after her.

"It is our hope that when Zahara is older, she will take responsibility for the clinic and continue its mission," Pitt said in a statement.

Pitt and Jolie now have six children -- twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline born in July, Shiloh, 2, and adopted children Zahara, Pax from Vietnam and Maddox from Cambodia.

The Jolie-Pitt Foundation helped set up a similar clinic in 2006 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia that is named after Maddox.

"Our goal is to transfer the success we have had in Cambodia to Ethiopia where people are needlessly dying of tuberculosis, a curable disease, and HIV/AIDS, a treatable disease," Jolie said.

Ethiopia has the seventh-highest rate of tuberculosis disease in the world and an estimated 1.7 million people in the country are infected with HIV, according to the World Health Organization. UNICEF estimates that more than 900,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS in Ethiopia.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

<p>Cast member Angelina Jolie (L) and actor Brad Pitt leave after the screening of "The Exchange" by U.S. director Clint Eastwood at the 61st Cannes Film Festival May 20, 2008. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler</p>