A group of civilians with an Oxfam worker./ Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam Intermón
The Diplomat. 19/03/2017
Last Wednesday was six years of the Day of Wrath, the demonstrations that triggered the war in Syria. Oxfam Intermón denounced that rich countries have “closed the doors” to people fleeing the conflict and regretted that Spain has only accommodated 6.5% of the refugees it had committed to protect.
“The people who have had to flee Syria are with the door closed” because “rich countries around the world are pushing hostile policies toward refugees”, the NGO said in a statement. “In recent times, the US and EU member states, including Spain, have changed, suspended or canceled policies that could have provided a safe haven for tens of thousands of refugees”, it continued.
According to Oxfam Intermón, the Spanish government’s response to this crisis “is still far below” what it deserves, since of the more than 16,000 that it would have to have resettled from neighboring countries to Syria, which would be the “quota fair” according to their wealth, have only reached Spanish soil 289, a figure that has not changed since October 2016.
“Rajoy says he is against the walls; to demonstrate it with the refugees”, warns the NGO
“If we take into account the total number of refugees who pledged to host in front of the EU, Spain should resettle and relocate 17,387 (the majority of Syrian citizens) before September 2017. Of these, only 1,141 have arrived, which corresponds 6.5% of the total“, it continued.
This means that “Spain is blocking 16,246 people, men, women, boys and girls who managed to flee the war and are now lying in the gutter, in Greece and Italy, or in countries neighboring Syria”. “Mariano Rajoy has said in statements that he is against the walls. We want him to prove it”, it said.
On the other hand, “the funds that Spanish cooperation has allocated in 2016 to the Syrian crisis do not reach 12 million euros, as indicated by United Nations data.” This is a “ridiculous figure compared to 194.3 million euros that should have contributed according to national wealth”, warned the NGO.
In the absence of the submission and approval of the General State Budgets, and of the knowledge of the funds to be contributed by Spain to the Syrian crisis in 2017, Oxfam Intermón considers that the budget for humanitarian aid should be 150 million Euros “to be able to face crisis like the one of Syria”, since, “without this minimum, Spain will not be able to face its international responsibility”.