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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/20/2013 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Oxfam study says other nations, such as France and Italy have fallen short

A report by Oxfam has determined that Britain is the only major economy to have given far more than its "fair share" of humanitarian aid to Syria. The United Kingdom has delivered close to £200 million of aid to the region where the civil war has cost over 100,000 lives and left around two million people homeless.

While the United Kingdom has donated more than its fair share, it has still come up short.

While the United Kingdom has donated more than its fair share, it has still come up short.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/20/2013 (6 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Oxfam, Syria, donations, United Kingdom, graph


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) The amount of aid donated by Britain puts it at 154 percent, far more than the fair share, which should only £125 million. 

In spite of exceeding this level by £68 million, the amount delivered so far is only half the £400 million the government has pledged since the conflict began two and a half years ago. Prime Minister David Cameron, losing a Commons vote on military strikes against the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad, promised the U.K., the second largest donor to the conflict after the U.S. will "lead the world" on getting food and medical aid to victims of the conflict. 


Other major economies have fallen short. The nations of France and Italy handing over just 47 per cent of their fair share, at £67 million and £53 million respectively. 


The remainder of the G20 group of countries, which include the U.S., Canada, Japan and Germany have met their target, except the U.K. and Saudi Arabia.


The U.S. Remains the largest donor delivering over £500 million this year. Given its wealth and population, this is only 63 percent of its fair share which was put at £800 million.


Interestingly, Russia, which remains a close ally of Assad gave just three percent of what would be expected given the size of its economy, the report found.


At the bottom of the list was New Zealand, whose economy has grown faster than expected this year, but has given just £62,000, one percent of its fair share calculated at £6.7 million.


"We are already the second largest aid donor in delivering the humanitarian aid that is so needed both in Syria and in the neighboring countries like Jordan and Turkey. We'll go on doing that," Cameron said. 


The needs of the beleaguered nation remains ongoing. Claire Seaward, Oxfam's campaigns manager for the Syria response, said: 'The crisis has got a lot worse this year and there are still a lot more needs on the ground. Although our government has given 154 percent, we would still expect them to give more.'
The charity analyzed each countries' Gross National Income (GNI), which is its wealth per head of population, and how much of the millions of pounds it has pledged have actually been delivered to aid workers on the ground.


The list of nations includes 28 traditional donor countries, and also Middle Eastern nations who have donated to Syria mainly Gulf countries which support the rebels.
Only eight countries were gauged to be giving sufficient funds, with oil-rich Kuwait the most generous at more than four and a half times its fair share - at £200million. 


Other countries which exceeded their fair share were Luxemburg, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.


Oxfam's figures include all the aid given directly and via the United Nations, European Union and charities such as the Red Cross and Oxfam so far this year.


The head of Oxfam's Syria program, Colette Fearon, said: 'While economic times are tough, we are facing the largest man-made humanitarian disaster in two decades and we have to seriously address it.


'The scale of this crisis is unprecedented and some countries must start to show their concerns to the crisis in Syria by putting their hands in their pockets. This is not the time for pledges. The situation demands committed funds in order to save lives.'


International development secretary Justine Greening visited Syrian refugees in Jordan this month, and said: 'Over one million Syrian children are now refugees. Many have seen unimaginable horrors and all face an uncertain future.


'We must ensure these children have sufficient food, shelter and medical care, but we must also provide the psychological support and education needed for their longer term well-being. 


'In the future it will be these children who have to help rebuild a more peaceful, democratic Syria, so we must give them the skills they need to do that.'


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