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Oxfam: World’s six richest countries host less than 9% of refugees

Syrian refugees in a refugee camp at the Turkey-Syria border [File photo]
Syrian refugees are seen at a refugee camp at the Turkey-Syria border [File photo]

The six richest countries in the wold host less than nine per cent of the world’s refugees, while the vast majority are being hosted by poorer nations, Oxfam’s latest analysis revealed yesterday.

The United States, China, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom played host to 2.1 million refugees and asylum seekers last year; 8.88 per cent of the total number of refugees worldwide, according to the analysis.

“There still remains a major gap with poorer countries providing the vast majority of safe havens for refugees,” Oxfam said.

“The six wealthiest countries make up more than half the global economy.”

However, the poorer countries and territories, including Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, South Africa as well as the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which “account for under two per cent of the world’s economy,” host more than 50 per cent of the world’s refugees and asylum seekers.

According to Oxfam, “over 65 million people have fled their homes because of conflict, persecution and violence; the highest level since records began. A third of these are refugees and asylum seekers, while the majority have been internally displaced.”

The conflict in Syria “has been a major factor, but people are also fleeing violence in South Sudan, Burundi, Iraq and Yemen and elsewhere.”

Oxfam International’ Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said: “It is shameful so many governments are turning their backs on the suffering of millions of vulnerable people who have fled their homes and are often risking their lives to reach safety.”

“Poorer countries are shouldering the duty of protecting refugees when it should be a shared responsibility, but many richer countries are doing next to nothing.”

He added: “The international displacement we are seeing is an unprecedented and complex challenge requiring a coordinated global response. The richest countries need to be part of the solution and do their fair share by welcoming and protecting more refugees.”

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