Amnesty International has leveled a pretty accurate accusation against the world’s wealthiest nations about their attitude to refugees.
The group said the world’s wealthiest nations are shirking their responsibility towards refugees phrasing their conclusion thus; they host the fewest and do the least.
A report released by the charity showed that ten countries which account for just 2.5% of the global GDP are sheltering more than half the world’s 21 million refugees. Commenting on it, Salil Shetty, Amnesty’s secretary-general, called for wealthier nations to take in many more people.
The Amnesty secretary-general said that the UK set a “sad example” of the failure to take responsibility. The United Nations said that the UK has accepted about 8,000 Syrian refugees since 2011 and the US has taken just 12,000. Another more recent UN refugee agency data also shows that no Syrian refugees have been resettled by China, Russia or any Gulf states.
A comparison is drawn between these countries and Jordan which has a GDP just 1.2% the size of the UK’s but hosts nearly 655,000 Syrian refugees. Jordan is sheltering more refugees than any other nation with more than 2.7 million refugees in total.
Other nations that have taken in an impressive number of refugees are;
- Turkey (2.5 million)
- Pakistan (1.6 million)
- Lebanon (1.5 million)
- Iran (979,400)
- Ethiopia (736,100)
- Kenya (553,900)
- Uganda (477,200)
- Democratic Republic of Congo (383,100)
- Chad (369,500)
Salil Shetty referring to these countries with the largest refugee populations said;
“A small number of countries have been left to do far too much just because they are neighbours to a crisis, … If we just share this out, say 60 to 90 countries share the responsibility, we could be in a very different situation. It’s a big problem but it’s a very solvable problem.”
It is not a new accusation or, for that matter, one that the wealthiest nations have worked at combatting. The UK, for instance, has said that its policy is to provide aid money to neighbouring countries so that they can support refugees closer to home.
It was an outlook that Amnesty criticized in tt’s report saying that the wealthiest nations should not “pay to keep people over there”.
At the recently concluded United Nations General Assembly, all the member states had adopted the New York Declaration on Refugees which gave them two more years to negotiate their strategies and obligations on the refugee crisis and US President Obama announced in the week that followed the country’s plan to accept 110,000 refugees in total for the 2017 fiscal year.
As these nations continue to make their plans, refugees and migrants continue to risk their lives attempting to reach Europe. On Monday Italy coordinated the rescue of 2,600 people off the coast of Libya.