10 coun­tries host half world’s refugees: Amnesty

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

LON­DON — Ten coun­tries ac­count­ing for 2.5 per­cent of world GDP are host­ing more than half the world’s refugees, Amnesty In­ter­na­tional said yes­ter­day as it slammed what it called the self­ish­ness of wealthy na­tions.

In a re­port on the plight faced by the world’s 21 mil­lion refugees, the Lon­don-based hu­man rights body lamented that coun­tries im­me­di­ately neigh­bour­ing cri­sis zones bear the brunt of the global refugee prob­lem.

Fifty six per­cent of refugees are be­ing shel­tered in 10 coun­tries, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, in which Amnesty pro­posed a so­lu­tion whereby the world’s coun­tries find a home for 10per­cent of the planet’s refugees ev­ery year.

“A small num­ber of coun­tries have been left to do far too much just be­cause they are neigh­bours to a cri­sis,” said Amnesty sec­re­tary gen­eral Salil Shetty, pre­sent­ing the re­port en­ti­tled “Tack­ling the global refugee cri­sis: from shirk­ing to shar­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity”.

“That sit­u­a­tion is in­her­ently un­sus­tain­able, ex­pos­ing the mil­lions flee­ing war and per­se­cu­tion in coun­tries like Syria, South Su­dan, Afghanistan, and Iraq to in­tol­er­a­ble mis­ery and suf­fer­ing.

“It is time for lead­ers to en­ter into a se­ri­ous, con­struc­tive de­bate about how our so­ci­eties are go­ing to help peo­ple forced to leave their homes by war and per­se­cu­tion.”

Amnesty said the top refugee host­ing coun­try was Jor­dan, which has taken in more than 2.7 mil­lion peo­ple, fol­lowed by Turkey (more than 2.5 mil­lion); Pak­istan (1.6 mil­lion) and Le­banon (more than 1.5 mil­lion).

The re­main­ing six na­tions listed in the top 10 each hosted hun­dreds of thou­sands of refugees: Iran (979 400); Ethiopia (736 100); Kenya (553 900); Uganda (477 200); Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo (383 100), and Chad (369 500).

The sta­tis­tics are based on fig­ures from the UN High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees.

Amnesty said many of the world’s wealth­i­est na­tions “host the fewest and do the least”.

“It is not sim­ply a mat­ter of send­ing aid money. Rich coun­tries can­not pay to keep peo­ple ‘over there’,” it said.

The “self-in­ter­est” of such coun­tries meant the in­ter­na­tional refugee cri­sis was set to get worse, not bet­ter, Amnesty claimed.

“If ev­ery one of the wealth­i­est coun­tries in the world were to take in refugees in pro­por­tion to their size, wealth and un­em­ploy­ment rate, find­ing a home for more of the world’s refugees would be an em­i­nently solv­able challenge,” said Shetty. — AFP.

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