Wealthy countries are still falling short of their obligations to help Syrians, five years into the crisis, according to a new analysis by the international aid group Oxfam, released Monday.
World leaders, who are gathering in London this week for a conference on supporting Syria and the region, must commit to pledges that will actively improve the lives of Syrian civilians and are proportional to wealthy nations’ economies, the “fair share” analysis (pdf) states. As of now, donations to aid groups and efforts to resettle refugees have amounted to “little more than token gestures.”
“The world is failing the people of Syria,” said Oxfam Great Britain chief executive Mark Goldring. “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.”
In total, wealthy countries gave just 56.5 percent of the $8.9 billion needed by humanitarian organizations like the United Nations, the Red Cross, and other groups to provide aid within Syria or help resettle refugees fleeing violence, war, and poverty.
But certain individual countries did far less than they could. Russia, for example, gave just one percent of its fair share in 2015, donating $6.9 million to the aid groups, despite having the funds to donate $683 million. As the Middle East Eye pointed out in its reporting on the analysis, “Moscow is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has supported the embattled government with air strikes against various rebel groups.”
The U.S., which is both the largest donor to Syrian aid appeals and is also leading the military coalition currently conducting air strikes throughout the country, contributed 76 percent of its capacity at a little over $1.5 billion, while it could have given $2.6 billion.
Due to military sieges and bureaucratic blockades carried out by all sides of the conflict, millions in Syria are not receiving the humanitarian aid that’s already been paid for, the analysis continues.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT