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'Solidarity is an Action, not a Sound-Bite': Oxfam Says US Not Doing Enough for Syrian Refugees


'Solidarity is an Action, not a Sound-Bite': Oxfam Says US Not Doing Enough for Syrian Refugees

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Efforts by the United States and other rich nations to resettle Syrians are devastatingly inadequate, said Oxfam International, which is asking countries attending the United Nations refugee conference this week to commit to open their doors to those fleeing the violence that has been intensified, largely, by their own failed policies in the Middle East.


"Based on Oxfam's calculation of national economies, only three nations—Canada, Germany, and Norway—have made resettlement pledges exceeding their "fair share." Australia, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and New Zealand have promised over resettlement to more than half of what they are capable of. "

Sweden has already taken 160,000. For a country of only 9 million souls, how can that not be their 'fair share?' Canada only 25,000 yet has a population of 35 million and is about 15 times the size of Sweden. Some mistake here.


I am not sure of the number myself. it might be they are calculating total refugees from the world accepted but even at that Sweden should be in the more than doing their fair share group.

I wish there was a link to the data.


I fully agree, but also reparations are certainly in order: actual funding of rebuilding Iraq and Syria, as soon as possible (which may take some time), to the "fair share" degree to which the U.S. is responsible for having contributed mightily to these countries' cataclysms.

Obama's pledge is just 7% of the "fair share" calculation here: this is a wholesale abandonment of some of the most desperate people on the planet, leaving them to literally die, starve, languish in camps, and suffer, largely due to the U.S. own war-mad actions. So this is doubly shameful: not helping the needy, and particularly those made needy by being robbed by the U.S. Were we the U.S. to accept our "fair share" of Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan, Somali, and other refugees, the resulting process of non-refugee Americans and refugee Americans meeting and living together face to face would do much to break down the barriers of non-caring for the people who survived U.S. bombs. And yet, the U.S. doesn't even treat Central American refugees--also victims of 1% U.S. elite policies--with humanity, but locks up pregnant and young mothers and children in horrendous camps sprinkled across the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump's wall has been in place already for a long time. May we take down the walls and open up hearts.


The vast majority of Syrians are not refugees, they are migrants. The "refugees" have refuge in Turkey and in any relatively safe areas away from the immediate battlefields. While such refuge is not ideal, the problem of Syria is best resolved locally. Better to train and arm the Syrian refugees to fight to take back their own country and homes than to give up on Syria and disperse them halfway around the world into alien cultures and societies.


Me too, as it makes no sense. Denmark too, a tiny country about 1/15th the size of Texas that has a population of just 5 and half million, has taken in 20,000 Syrian refugees. Percentage of population, it is the equivalent of the US taking 1,280,000 refugees, 1 to each 275 people. That's before you start calculating area available.


Are you for real? It's exactly that, done by the USA, which led to civil war and caused this refugee problem in the first place.



I have finally found it. I do not have the time to review it today but thought you might be interested. I believe this what they refer to.


Thanks for that link. Seems, from what I can gather, this survey isn't measuring the number of refugees taken that have arrived at a border, but rather how many each country has 'pledged' they would take from camps around the Syrian area. So it is only talking of one specific programme not the general situation. Viz:

"Oxfam is calling for 5 percent of the population of refugees registered in neighbouring countries, equivalent to 196,000 people, to be resettled or offered humanitarian admission in rich countries that have signed the UN refugee convention by the end of 2015, as part of a multi-year commitment to resettle the most vulnerable of the refugee population. This chart looks at pledges from these countries against a fair share calculated on the basis of the size of their economy. To date, only 37 percent of places have been pledged by the world’s richest governments, and in a timeframe that remains unclear"

In that respect this article is a bit misleading. It also considers aid to refugees in which the UK scores highest of its 'fair share' for 2015 at 110% which makes the UK Gov. look more generous and decent in all this than it actually is. I don't think economic GDP is a good measure regarding intake of refugees anyway, as size and population are also factors. Some countries have high GDP yet tiny living space and tiny populations.