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  • Ten countries host half of world's refugees: report

     

    Ten countries - which account for just 2.5 percent of the global economy - are hosting more than half the world's refugees, a rights group has said, accusing wealthy countries of leaving poorer nations to bear the brunt of a worsening crisis.

    In a report published on Tuesday, Amnesty International said the unequal share was exacerbating the global refugee problem, as inadequate conditions in the main countries of shelter pushed many to embark on dangerous journeys to Europe and Australia.

    The London-based group said 56 percent of the world's 21 million refugees are being hosted by just 10 countries - all in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

    Top refugee hosting countries
    1. Jordan (2.7 million) 
    2. Turkey (2.5 million)
    3. Pakistan (1.6 million)  
    4. Lebanon (1.5 million)
    5. Iran (979,400)
    6. Ethiopia (736,100) 
    7. Kenya (553,900) 
    8. Uganda (477,200)
    9. Democratic Republic of Congo (383,100)
    10. Chad (369,500)
     

    Jordan, which has taken in more than 2.7 million people, was named as the top refugee hosting country,  followed by Turkey, over 2.5 million; Pakistan, 1.6 million; and Lebanon, more than 1.5 million.

    The other top six nations were Iran, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad.

    "A small number of countries have been left to do far too much just because they are neighbours to a crisis," said Salil Shetty, Amnesty's secretary-general.

    "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."

    Amnesty said many of the world's wealthiest nations "host the fewest and do the least", highlighting a stark contrast in the number of refugees taken in by countries near crisis-hit areas and by wealthier nations with similar populations elsewhere.

     

    Dangerous routes

    Britain, for example, has taken in fewer than 8,000 Syrians since 2011, while Jordan - with a population almost 10 times smaller than Britain and just 1.2 percent of its GDP - hosts more than 655,000 refugees from its war-torn neighbour, Amnesty said.

    Europe faces worsening refugee crisis in 2016

     

    "It is not simply a matter of sending aid money. Rich countries cannot pay to keep people 'over there'," it said.

    Amnesty proposed a solution, whereby the world's richest countries would find a home for 10 percent of the planet's refugees every year, and singled out Canada, which has resettled some 30,000 Syrian refugees in the past year, as a wealthy country doing its part.

    "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."

    Kathleen Newland, cofounder of the Migration Policy Institute, said unless more countries step up their response, the refugees will continue to flee using dangerous routes

    "I think we'll see more people trying to move through clandestine channels using smugglers, putting themselves in great danger to try to reach a place where they can restart their lives," she told Al Jazeera.

    "The more governments try to close off those routes, the more dangerous the alternatives become."

     

     

    Source: Al Jazeera News And 

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  • Housemaid arrested for attempting to murder housewife and daughters

    attempting to murder a Saudi housewife and her two young daughters.

    Jazan Police said they received a call from neighbors saying the housemaid physically assaulted the woman of the house she worked in and her two daughters who are aged 9 and 6.

    The woman continuously banged her victims’ heads against the wall in an attempt to kill them. Hearing their cries, neighbors barged in and saved the mother and her daughters.

    The neighbors took the victims to hospital in an unconscious state. They had sustained fractures in their skulls as well as several injuries in their bodies.

    The housemaid tried to escape from the scene but she was caught and arrested a few meters away from the house. She was charged with attempted murder and handed over to the pertinent authorities.

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  • Saudi Finance Ministry says no to fees on foreign workers' remittances

    RIYADH: The Saudi finance ministry said on Sunday there would be no fees applied on remittances out of the country, days after the kingdom's advisory Shoura Council said it was looking at a proposal to impose a 6 percent levy on expatriate remittances. 
    Saudi Arabia is "committed to the principle of free movement of capital in and out of the kingdom, in line with international standards," the ministry said on its official Twitter account.
    Around a third of Saudi Arabia's 30 million inhabitants are foreigners, many of them attracted by the absence of tax and higher pay than they can get at home.
    But the country has been facing a budget squeeze from low oil prices and announced reform plans last year, which included a proposal to impose income tax on foreign workers.
    Proposals endorsed by the Shoura Council are not always adopted and the kingdom's central bank governor and finance minister said in the autumn that there were no plans to tax remittances or income.
    The country has already introduced a range of new fees to help close a budget gap created by low oil prices.
    For example, the government has raised the cost of visas and introduced gradually rising monthly fees on expatriate workers and their dependents. 

     

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