Tanzania: Oxfam appeals for world attention to refugee influx in developing countries

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - Six wealthiest countries - which make up more than half the global economy - host less than 9 percent of the world’s refugees while poorer countries and territories are shouldering most of the responsibility, Oxfam said Monday.

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 2 percent of the world’s economy, the international humanitarian agency noted.

Oxfam’s analysis showed that collectively 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 world's total.

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

Ahead of two major summits on refugees and migrants in New York in September, Oxfam has called on governments to not only host more people in need of safe havens, but also to commit to do more to help the developing countries sheltering the majority of refugees and protect all people on the move.

Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said: “It is shameful that 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. 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.

"The international displacement we are seeing is an unprecedented and complex challenge requiring a coordinated global response. The richest countries need to be part of the solution and do their fair share by welcoming and protecting more refugees."

Over 65 million people have fled their homes because of conflict, persecution and violence; the highest level since records began.

A third of these, according to the analysis, are refugees and asylum seekers, while the majority have been internally displaced. The conflict in Syria has been a major factor, but people are also fleeing violence in South Sudan, Burundi, Iraq and Yemen, and elsewhere.  

“This is happening as the mood for offering safe havens to people on the move is darkening. The recent deal between European government and Turkey has left thousands of men, women and children detained in Greece in often appalling conditions and in a legal limbo.

“The Kenyan government - when announcing the closure of the Dadaab refugee camp - said that if Europe could turn away Syrians, Kenya could do the same to Somalis,” the report added.

According to Byanyima: "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.”

Appealing to the public to sign Oxfam’s petition and make world leaders meeting in New York in September to act, she added: “We must stand as one with the millions of people who have been forced to flee as they need our help.”
-0- PANA AR/VAO 18July2016

18 july 2016 13:25:31

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