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Wealthy countries bombing Syria not giving enough aid to war victims: Oxfam

Oxfam has called on rich countries to do more in meeting their requirements of providing aid to victims of Syria's civil war
Young Syrian refugees stand at the Azraq refugee camp in northern Jordan (AFP)

Some of the countries militarily involved in Syria’s civil war are not pulling their weight when it comes to assisting its victims, a new report by international aid organisation Oxfam said on Monday.

The Oxfam report was released in advance of a donor conference in London on Thursday.

It said that many wealthy countries were not contributing their “fair share” of financial aid, which is the amount a nation should donate relative to the size of its economy.

In 2015, countries gave just 56.5 percent of the $8.9bn needed by aid organisations, Oxfam reported.

Of the countries involved militarily in Syria, Russia has contributed the least amount, giving just one percent of its fair share.

Moscow is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has supported the embattled government with air strikes against various rebel groups.  

Saudi Arabia has contributed 28 percent of its fair share to aid organisations.

Riyadh has been a key supporter of Syrian rebel groups, including providing financing and weapons to various organisations.

Oxfam said that among European nations France has given 45 percent of its fair share, adding that Paris took in around 5,000 Syrian refugees in 2015.

The US – the single largest donor to Syrian aid appeals – contributed 76 percent of its fair share.

"The world is failing the people of Syria,” Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB chief executive, said in a statement posted online. “Five years on since the start of the crisis the violence and suffering continues to escalate but the level of funding and support fails to match. Countries must do more to help in Syria, in the region and in resettling the most vulnerable.”

Some countries profiled by Oxfam have given far more than their fair share.

Denmark gave 318 percent of its fair share, while Norway gave 385 percent and the UK 237 percent. In terms of countries from the region itself, Kuwait gave 554 percent of its fair share.

While some countries surpassed requirements on aid donations, the key issue of refugees has continued to be a pressing one for Oxfam.

The organisation reported that the US has pledged to take in just seven percent of its fair share with 10,000 refugees and the UK only 23 percent with 20,000 by 2020.

Canada, Norway and Germany have all pledged to take in over 100 percent of their fair share of refugees. Germany registered over 158,000 Syrian asylum seekers last year and many more refugees from the civil war are believed to be in the country.

Russia has not pledged to take any refugees and Gulf countries were not included in the resettlement figures because they have not signed the UN Refugee Convention and are not officially registered as having taken in any Syrian refugees.

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