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Australia urged to triple refugee intake

AAP logoAAP 18/08/2016

Australia needs to lift its game and triple the refugee intake gradually to 42,000 by 2020.

That's the verdict of aid agency Oxfam which has crunched the numbers and compared Australia's efforts to relieve the global humanitarian migration crisis with that of other nations.

Australia's refugee intake is 13,750 this financial year, rising to 18,750 in two years.

There is also a one-off special intake of 12,000 Syrians even though fewer than 2000 actually arrived.

Oxfam chief executive Helen Szoke says Australia is the 12th richest nation on earth, yet hosted a "shameful" 0.2 per cent of the world's refugees and asylum seekers.

In comparison the US takes 2.4 per cent of the world's asylum seekers and refugees, China 1.3 per cent, Germany 3 per cent, France 1.4 per cent, the UK and Canada 0.7 per cent

"We're asking Australia to take 42,000 people, which is 0.18 per cent of our population," Dr Szoke said.

The Oxfam analysis found the world's top six wealthiest countries, which had almost two-thirds of global gross domestic product, hosted less than 9 per cent of the world's refugees.

This compared to the six countries and territories hosting half the world's refugees and asylum seekers which represented just 1.9 per cent of global GDP.

Dr Szoke also called for Australian aid to countries like Jordan and Lebanon, which are doing the heavy lifting on Syrian refugees, to be boosted because they are stretched beyond their limits.

THE REFUGEE CRISIS IN NUMBERS

* Humanitarian crisis: 65 million people - 21.3 million refugees worldwide, 3.2 million asylum seekers and 40.8 displaced people.

* 86 per cent of refugees are in developing countries.

* Among the heavy lifters - Turkey is hosting 2.5 million refugees, Pakistan 1.6 million and Lebanon 1.1 million.

* Biggest sources of refugees - Syria (4.9 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million) and Somalia (1.1 million).

(Source: Oxfam and UNHCR)

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