UK 'not taking fair share of Syrian refugees'


Oxfam has accused the UK government of not taking its "fair share" of Syrian refugees.

David Cameron announced in September that the UK would help resettle up to 20,000 people displaced by the conflict over the rest of the current Parliament.

But Oxfam believes Britain must do more, stating that its own analysis shows the UK's "fair share" of refugees would amount to 21,295 places by the end of 2016.

The charity has calculated that the UK is on track to offer refuge to 5,571 people over the same time period - about a quarter of its "fair share".

However, the same analysis also suggests the UK is going above and beyond when it comes to pledging financial assistance.

British aid commitments up to the end of September this year stood at £448 million when its "fair share" would be £196 million, according to Oxfam.

Penny Lawrence, the deputy chief executive of Oxfam GB, said: "Britain is taking just one in four of its fair share of Syrian refugees.

"For a rich and powerful country to fall so far short is a dereliction of duty.

"The British government should be congratulated for stepping up to the plate with financial aid where so many countries have not.

"If only it showed the same compassion in resettling vulnerable refugees."

Oxfam has called for 10% of refugees registered in countries neighbouring Syria to be resettled in richer countries by the end of 2016.

The calculations relating to refugee places and financial aid are contained within the charity's Solidarity With Syrians report and are relative to the size of a country's economy.

The report states Russia has failed to resettle any Syrian refugees and has contributed just 1% of its "fair share" in terms of aid.

The publication of the report comes as Oxfam launches a £740,000 programme in Serbia to help some of the thousands of people fleeing to Europe.

Mrs Lawrence said: "More than four million Syrians have fled unimaginable violence for the hope of a better future. Rich countries like the UK have an obligation to offer refuge to the most vulnerable, but many are choosing to turn a blind eye.

"As the violence in Syria intensifies, and with no peace process in sight, many Syrians are making dangerous choices to seek a better future."