The bloody civil wars in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq show no sign of relenting, forcing over four million people — an amount only comparable to those displaced by World War II — to desert their homeland for safety. Shockingly, the wealthiest Middle East countries, such as Israel, Saudia Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, refuse to take the refugees. These prosperous Middle Eastern nations fear refugees from Syria and the rest of the mideast will bring about job loss and terrorism.
Fortunately, western nations are now accepting refugees from the war-torn Middle East to lighten the burden on Syria’s neighbors. This action is largely due to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, which urges western signers to care for refugees.
So, which countries are accepting the refugees? Here are 29 nations in the Middle East, Europe, and elsewhere sheltering the refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Mideast.
Turkey has taken on the brunt of Syria’s refugees, with over 1.8 million Syrians currently living in their country.
Lebanon, Syria’s neighbor, is second only to Turkey, having taken on over 1.2 million refugees.
Jordan holds the third most refugees, reportedly containing over 628,427 Syrians.
Iraq, which is having its own troubles with its war with the self-declared Islamic State (known also as ISIS or ISIL), is housing approximately 247, 861 refugees.
Egypt is also doing their part by currently handling around 133,000 refugees.
Germany is the first prominent western nation to take responsibility for hundreds of thousands of refugees. Along with estimates saying Germany may take up to 800,000 migrants, Chancellor Angela Merkel is putting intense pressure on Europe to address the refugee crisis which has flooded the region’s borders. Over 100,000 refugees were recorded in Germany last month.
“Germany is the only country that is welcoming us. Look at them! I feel like we are back among family,” said Alali, a 37-year old who fled with his family from the Syrian civil war, to The Washington Post.
Not everyone is pleased with Germany’s policy. Hungary warns that German’s actions will encourage more refugees to enter Europe. Yet, Merkel is determined to have Europe handle the migrants.
“If Europe fails on the question of refugees, it won’t be the Europe we wished for,” said Merkel on August 31.
Greece, which is in a mire of financial trouble, has been burdened with around 88,000 Syrian refugees.
Sweden has taken substantial action; the Scandinavian country already houses roughly 40,000 Mideast refugees.
Algeria, which permits Syrians to travel into its borders without a visa, contains about 25,000 refugees.
Austria is working together with their German neighbors to handle the migrants crisis. Currently, the German-speaking nation contains around 18,000 Mideast refugees.
Armenia has taken on roughly 16,000 Mideast refugees.
Under pressure from their European allies and the U.N., United Kingdom’s Prime Minister David Cameron has announced the country will take on at least 10,000 refugees. England already has approximately 5,000 refugees.
“Britain will act with our head and our heart, providing refuge for those in need while working on a long-term solution to the Syria crisis,” said Cameron.
Bahrain, the island nation in the Persian Gulf, has taken in around 5,000 refugees.
The African nation of Libya contains an estimated 4,716 Syrian refugees.
Many Syrian refugees flee across the Mediterranean and find their way to Italy. The coastal nation currently contains at least 4,600 refugees.
Bulgaria holds more than 4,500 Syrian refugees.
Canada has registered 2,374 Mideast refugees and plans to accept 10,000 over the next three years. Yet, liberals in opposition parties are calling on the government to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees immediately, and Canada’s New Democratic Party has announced a plan to bring in 46,000 refugees by 2019, reports Global News.
The South American nation of Brazil has granted asylum to at least 1,740 Mideast refugees.
The United States
Currently, the U.S. has at least 1,500 Syrian refugees, with President Barack Obama open to offering more asylum. The United States houses 70,000 refugees from various crises across the globe and supplies direct funding for humanitarian aid.
The eastern European nation of Romania keeps around 1,300 Syrian refugees.
Even the struggling Palestinian region, the Gaza Strip, has become home to around 1,000 Mideast refugees.
The small island nation of Ireland has already agreed to shoulder 600 Syrian and Mideast migrants but is under heavy pressure from Germany and Europe to take on a greater amount. As a result, Ireland has now agreed to take on 1,800 refugees, reports ITV News.
While Russian President Vladimir Putin points fingers at the United States as the cause of the Syrian war, his country contains less than 1,000 refugees.
France hasn’t yielded much help to the Mideast refugees but is working with Germany to address the problem. France is currently housing 500 migrants.
Presently, Argentina says it contains more than 300 Mideast families. And on Friday, Argentina’s cabinet chief Anibal Fernandez said more refugees will be welcomed but didn’t disclose a specific goal.
The southeastern country of Europe contains around 250 Mideast refugees.
Since July, Poland has claimed less than 150 refugees.
Former Uruguayan President Jose Mujica agreed to 120 Mideast refugees, and the country currently houses 42 refugees. However, Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa says more Syrian families are on their way.
Colombia contains less than 100 Syrian refugees, but that number may increase, reports Breitbart.
UPDATE: Since this post, many listed countries have taken in more refugees or agreed to new measures.
[Image via Flickr]