Oxfam: Poorest nations shouldering responsibility for world's refugees

Story highlights

  • Oxfam: Poor countries are shouldering duty of protecting refugees
  • Nations that host over 50% of world's refugees account for under 2% world's GDP

(CNN)The world's six wealthiest countries host less than 9% of the world's refugees, according to a new Oxfam report.

While the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France and UK make up more than half the global economy, last year they only hosted 2.1 million refugees and asylum seekers -- just 8.88% of the world's total, the aid organization said in its report released Monday.
    Germany takes the largest share of refugees among the world's richest countries (around 700,000), with the remaining 1.4 million split between the other five nations.
    In sharp contrast, the nations that host more than half of the world's refugees and asylum seekers account for less than 2% of the world's GDP.
    Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, South Africa and Palestine collectively host almost 12 million people.
    Ahead of back-to-back summits this September that will focus on the global refugee and migration crisis in New York, Oxfam is calling for wealthier nations to pull their weight.
    "It is shameful 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," said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, in a statement.
    "Poorer countries are shouldering the duty of protecting refugees when it should be a shared responsibility," she added.

    'Unprecedented challenge'

    The number of displaced people is currently at the highest ever recorded, according to the U.N., surpassing even post-World War II numbers.
    More than 65 million people -- one out of every 113 people on the planet -- have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence or persecution says the UNHCR -- a 5.8-million increase on the year before.
    While the war in Syria has contributed to this increase, people are also fleeing conflict in Burundi, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen among other places.
    "The international displacement we are seeing is an unprecedented and complex challenge requiring a coordinated global response," said Byanyima.
    "The richest countries need to be part of the solution and do their fair share by welcoming and protecting more refugees." 
    According to Oxfam, the recent deal between European governments and Turkey has left thousands detained in Greece in "legal limbo" and sets a dangerous precedent.
    The organization says that when the Kenyan government closed the enormous Dadaab refugee camp, they said that if Europeans could turn away Syrians, Kenyans could do the same for Somalis.