SEATTLE — More than half of the world’s refugees are being hosted in just ten countries, and this group of nations that accept the most refugees comprises just 2.5 percent of the global economy. A report from Amnesty International in October 2016 claimed that wealthy nations were not doing enough to support vulnerable displaced populations all over the world.
“It is not simply a matter of sending aid money. Rich countries cannot pay to keep people ‘over there’,” the report said. Amnesty stated that 56 percent of the world’s 21 million refugees are being hosted by just 10 nations, all of which are in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Jordan tops the list of nations that accept the most refugees, followed by Turkey, Pakistan, and Lebanon. The full list is as follows:
- Jordan (2.7 million+)
- 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)
Amnesty secretary-general Salil Shetty said neighboring countries were bearing a disproportionate burden of the refugee crisis simply because of their proximity to refugee populations. In failing to take responsibility for a fair share of refugee populations, wealthy nations were giving refugees no choice but to make incredibly dangerous journeys to countries in Europe or even further afield.
“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,” Shetty said.
In the U.S., slightly more than 18,000 Syrian refugees have been resettled since the beginning of its civil war in 2011. The U.S. has a refugee population of 0.84 per 1,000 inhabitants, and by this metric, it comes in at number 75 on the list of countries that accept the most refugees.
Amnesty proposed that the world’s richest countries should resettle at least 10 percent of the planet’s refugees every year. The only major wealthy nation doing its part already was Canada, it said, which resettled about 30,000 Syrian refugees in 2011.
“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,” Shetty said. “They need to explain why the world can bail out banks, develop new technologies and fight wars, but cannot find safe homes for 21 million refugees, just 0.3 percent of the world’s population.”