EU has so far offered to help less than 1% of Syrian refugees
The UK government’s decision to resettle some of the most vulnerable refugees from Syria should encourage wider action on resettlement by the international community, particularly European and Gulf countries, said Amnesty International this afternoon.
Despite some progress on the resettlement of vulnerable refugees from Syria by European Union member countries, the number of refugees the EU has offered to resettle is still just a fraction of the vast total number of Syrian refugees - amounting to only 0.6%. Several EU member states have yet to offer any resettlement places.
The record of Gulf countries on resettlement is even more shocking - with not a single resettlement place offered to refugees from Syria.
There are now over 2.4 million refugees from Syria, of whom the vast majority have fled to neighbouring countries. In December, the UN humanitarian appeal target was set at £4bn to try to meet the growing needs of Syrian refugees, as well as the 6.5 million people displaced inside Syria itself.
Amnesty International’s Head of Refugee and Migrants’ Rights Sherif Elsayed-Ali said:
“The UK’s pledge to offer resettlement places to refugees from Syria is long overdue, but should be widely welcomed as a positive and important first step.
“Syria’s deepening refugee crisis is one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our time. So far the international community is failing to meet this challenge. One way to reduce further suffering is for countries across the world to open their doors and share responsibility for the protection of refugees, which is largely shouldered by countries neighbouring Syria.
“While funding to the region is crucial to helping refugees, money alone is not sufficient for a crisis of this scale and gravity.
“More needs be done to provide protection and safe refuge for the most vulnerable, including refugees with serious medical needs, victims of torture and sexual violence, as well as elderly people and children.
“Offering a meaningful number of resettlement and humanitarian admission places is essential to addressing the widespread suffering faced by refugees, and can be a lifesaving measure for those most at risk.”