Amnesty Berates Rich Nations Over Syria Refugee Crisis

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Syrian refugee girls pose at a refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese Town of Al-Faour near the border with Syria. December 2, 2014.Credit: AP

The human rights group Amnesty International on Friday criticized wealthy nations for failing to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis.

"The shortfall ... is truly shocking," said Sherif Elsayed-Ali, Amnesty's head of refugee and migrant rights.

About 3.8 million refugees from Syria have fled to five main countries within the region: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, the London-based rights watchdog said.

"The Gulf states, which include some of the world's wealthiest countries, have not offered to take a single refugee from Syria so far," Amnesty charged.

"Russia and China have similarly failed to pledge a single resettlement place," it said. "Excluding Germany, the rest of the European Union has pledged to resettle a paltry 0.17 per cent of refugees in the main host countries."

The World Food Program said this week that it had been forced to suspend food aid to 1.7 million refugees because of a funding crisis.

"[This] underscores the abysmal response of the international community," Amnesty said.

The organization's statement is coming ahead of a donor conference due to be held Tuesday in Geneva.

UN agencies estimate that more than 3 million Syrians have fled their war-torn homeland to neighbouring countries and 6.45 million people are displaced inside Syria.