World Economy

Six Richest Nations Host Just 9% of Refugees

Six Richest Nations Host Just 9% of RefugeesSix Richest Nations Host Just 9% of Refugees

The six richest countries—which make up more than half the global economy—host less than 9% of the world’s refugees, an aid group has said.

The United States, China, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom hosted 2.1 million refugees and asylum seekers last year—just 8.88% of the global total, the report from the Britain-based Oxfam said, Aljazeera reported.

Poorer countries, in contrast, have accommodated most of those looking for safe havens, Oxfam said.

“Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, South Africa as well as the Occupied Palestinian Territory host over 50% of the world’s refugees and asylum seekers but account for under 2% of the world’s economy,” it said.

“While Germany has recently welcomed far more refugees than the other wealthiest nations, there still remains a major gap with poorer countries providing the vast majority of safe havens for refugees.”

Oxfam called on governments to host more refugees and to give more help to countries sheltering the majority of them—ahead of two major summits about refugees and so-called economic migrants in the US in September.

“In 2015, the six wealthiest countries gave almost $2 billion in aid to the UNHCR. Such aid is vital as it provides refugees with essentials. But providing aid cannot absolve rich countries from their moral and legal responsibilities to welcome more refugees,” the agency states.

“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, the executive director of Oxfam, 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.

Tens of thousands of refugees remain stranded as more countries tighten border controls.

An unprecedented 65 million people from around the world have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict, persecution and violence, the report said.

More than a third of them are refugees and asylum seekers, Oxfam said, and the remainder have had to move within their own countries.

“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,” Byanyima said.