Just Four Wealthy Countries Have Taken in Their Fair Share of Refugees, Says Oxfam

The organization rated the nations based on their contributions to the Syrian crisis.

Migrant children walk through the camp in Grande-Synthe, near Dunkirk, France, on Jan. 20, where almost 2,500 migrants and refugees live—mostly Iraqi Kurds and Syrians.

Feb 2, 2016· 1 MIN READ
Jennifer Swann is TakePart’s culture and lifestyle reporter.

Malala Yousafzai will attend a conference of world leaders on Thursday in the hope of inspiring them to open their pocketbooks for refugees. It turns out that the Pakistani activist isn't alone in that goal.

On Monday, the antipoverty organization Oxfam urged wealthy governments to boost their financial support of refugees—to the tune of $9.3 billion this year—and open their doors to help resettle people.

Their analysis, which came just days before the Syria Donors Conference in London, shows how 32 of the world's most prosperous countries scored on taking in refugees and contributing financial aid, according to the size of their economy.

France, Greece, Italy, and Poland are among those in the European Union that failed to meet even half their fair share of funding, based on an estimated total need calculated by the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

"The world is failing the people of Syria," Mark Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam Great Britain, said in a statement. "Five years on since the start of the crisis, the violence and suffering continues to escalate, but the level of funding and support fails to match." He implored countries to do more in helping to resettle Syrians fleeing war and persecution.

Kuwait, which contributed more than 550 percent of its fair share to the Syrian refugee crisis, is the country that most exceeded its financial obligations, according to Oxfam's calculations. Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom also contributed well over 200 percent of their fair share.

While countries such as Denmark, Sweden, and Germany have moved to restrict their borders to refugees in recent months, they've also surpassed their fair share of financial contributions to the crisis, Oxfam stated.

But the organization said money isn't the only way countries should be responding to the crisis. Oxfam is calling on wealthy nations to resettle 10 percent of the more than 4 million refugees registered in Syria's neighboring countries by the end of the year. According to its computations, wealthy nations have collectively agreed to take in 128,612 Syrians, but that only accounts for 28 percent of their minimum fair share.

Australia, Canada, Germany, and Norway are the only countries that pledged to accept their fair share of Syrian refugees. France, Greece, Russia, Spain, and Portugal all placed low in the rankings, as did the United States, which has agreed to resettle just 7 percent of its fair share of refugees, according to Oxfam.

"With no chance of returning home soon, refugees are stuck between a rock and a hard place: receiving less aid and unable to sustain themselves without the right to work or valid residency permits," Goldring said. "Refugees are becoming increasingly desperate."