This year, Oxfam's analysis found that "barely" half of the aid money needed to help people in Syria and the surrounding region had been given by rich nations. The analysis compared each country's actual contribution to what would be its "fair share" of the response based on the country's gross national income.
Essentially, you'd expect richer countries to give more aid, but the size of a country's economy doesn't necessarily correspond to the amount of aid it actually gives. For example, Oxfam found that the United States gave around $1.56 billion in aid last year; the largest amount of any nation. However, as the United States is the world's largest economy, Oxfam's analysis found that the country's fair share should be over $2 billion — meaning the United States actually provided only 76 percent of its fair share.
At the other end of the scale, the relatively small Middle Eastern state of Kuwait gave $313 million in aid — 554 percent of its fair share. Other nations that gave far more of their fair share of aid included Norway (385 percent), Denmark (318 percent) and Luxembourg (262 percent).
Oxfam found that many countries that are militarily involved in the Syrian conflict are not doing their fair share to help the victims. Russia, Saudi Arabia and France were all among the least generous, the analysis showed, despite each being deeply involved in the Syrian conflict. Russia in particular seems to be pulling far below its weight, giving just 1 percent of the aid that Oxfam calculated would be its fair share.
Of course, the aid given by rich nations is only one part of the picture. Another, perhaps more high-profile and controversial part, is that of Syrian refugees.
Oxfam also looked at the pledges made by rich nations to resettle Syrian refugees through 2014. The charity has argued that rich nations should resettle a minimum of 10 percent of refugees currently living in Syria's neighboring countries — around 460,000 people. However, so far only 128,612 places have been offered, just 28 percent of that 460,000.
Perhaps because of its status as a hot-button issue, many nations have not pledged to take anywhere near their fair share of refugees. The United States has taken just 7 percent, for example, while a number of countries have pledged to take zero percent of their fair share. Again, Russia features at the bottom of the list, and France isn't much further up. Only four countries — Norway, Canada, Germany and Australia — have pledged to take more than their fair share, Oxfam found, with 260 percent, 238 percent, 113 percent and 110 percent, respectively.
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