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News > World

6 Wealthiest Nations Host Under 9% of World's Refugees

  • Syrian refugee children pose as they play in front of their family residence at Azraq refugee camp near Al Azraq city, Jordan, June 27, 2016.

    Syrian refugee children pose as they play in front of their family residence at Azraq refugee camp near Al Azraq city, Jordan, June 27, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 July 2016

Oxfam says it is "shameful" that the richest countries on the planet combined host fewer refugees than Turkey.

The six richest countries in the world, who make up more than 60 percent of the world’s economy, are hosting less than 9 percent of the total number of refugees in the world according to a new report by the British charity Oxfam released Monday.

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The analysis by the organization showed that the United States, Germany, France, China, Japan and the UK, which together make up 56.6 percent of the global gross national product, host just 2.1 million refugees combined.

“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,” Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said in a press release.

“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,” she added.

The numbers aren't even distributed equally between those rich countries, as Germany alone hosts a third of those refugees, or about 735,000 people, while the remaining 1.4 million are split between the other five countries.

Meanwhile more than half of the world’s refugees, which is about 12 million people, are hosted by Jordan, Turkey, Palestine, Pakistan, Lebanon and South Africa, countries that make up less than 2 percent of the world’s economy.

The group also said that over 65 million people have fled their homes because of conflict, persecution and violence, the highest level since records began. Byanyima further called on the international community, and in particular its richest nations, to do more in the face of one of the greatest refugee crisis in history.

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

One of the main drivers of the refugee crisis has been the conflict in Syria according to Oxfam however, “people are also fleeing violence in South Sudan, Burundi, Iraq and Yemen, and elsewhere.”

Also most of those who fled due to conflicts—about 40 million people—have been internally displaced.

"Too many people who have taken treacherous journeys to reach safety end up living in degrading situations littered with abuse, hostility and discrimination, and too few governments are doing anywhere near enough to help or protect them. We must stand as one with the millions of people who have been forced to flee as they need our help,” said Byanyima.

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