6 wealthiest countries host less than 9 percent of world’s refugees

The six wealthiest countries host less than 9 percent of the world’s refugees, an Oxfam analysis shows.

Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, South Africa and the Occupied Palestinian Territory host more than 50 percent of the world’s refugees and asylum seekers but account for under 2 percent of the world’s economy.

Collectively, the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom hosted 2.1 million refugees and asylum seekers last year — just 8.88 percent of the world total.

Germany recently welcomed far more refugees than the other richest nations, yet a major gap remains with poorer countries providing the vast majority of safe havens for refugees.

Ahead of two major summits about refugees and migrants in New York in September, Oxfam called on governments to host more people in need of safe havens and commit to do more to help the developing countries sheltering the majority of refugees.

“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. “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.”

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

More than 65 million people have fled their homes because of conflict, persecution and violence; the highest level since records began.  A third of these people 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.

This is happening as the mood for offering safe havens to people on the move is darkening. The recent deal between European governments and Turkey left thousands of people detained in Greece in often appalling conditions and legal limbo.

The Kenyan government, when announcing the closure of the Dadaab refugee camp, said that if Europe could turn away Syrians, Kenya could do the same for Somalis.

“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.”

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