The six richest countries – which make up more than half the global economy – host less than nine percent of the world’s refugees, aid group Oxfam 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 percent of the global total, the report from the Britain-based Oxfam said.
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 percent of the world’s refugees and asylum seekers but account for under two percent of the world’s economy,” it said.
“While Germany has recently welcomed far more refugees than the other of the 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.
“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.”