A newly released Oxfam report said Monday that the six wealthiest countries in the world, which account for at least 60 percent of the global economy, host less than 9 percent of the world’s refugees leaving poorer countries to deal with most of the responsibility.
According to the report, more than 65 million people have fled their homes since Oxfam began record-keeping, of whom 21.3 million are refugees and 3.2 million are awaiting asylum decisions in industrialized countries. The world’s six richest countries — Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Japan — host 8.88 percent of refugees and asylum-seekers. Germany alone hosts over 736,000 people and the rest host the remaining 1.4 million among them.
The report says that at least 12 million people are hosted by Jordan, Turkey, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Pakistan, Lebanon and South Africa. The economies of these nations collectively account for less than 2 percent of the world’s total.
“This is one of the greatest challenges of our time yet poorer countries, and poorer people, are left to shoulder the responsibility,” Oxfam Great Britain’s CEO Mark Goldring reportedly said. “It is a complex crisis that requires a coordinated, global response with the richest countries doing their fair share by welcoming more refugees and doing more to help and protect them wherever they are.”
The report calls for more aid from the world's richest countries to help the world’s “most vulnerable people” who have fled their homes because of violence, conflict and persecution.
“Now more than ever, the U.K. needs to show that it is an open, tolerant society that is prepared to play its part in solving this crisis. It is shameful that as one of the richest economies the U.K. has provided shelter for less than 1 percent of refugees,” Goldring reportedly said.
The report says that the conflict in Syria has been a major factor in the rise in the number of people who have abandoned their homes. People have also fled from other conflicts zones including Burundi, the Central African Republic, Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen.