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Oxfam Report Slams Russia, Other Countries For Lack Of Aid To Syria

A Russian warplane dropping bombs on positions in Syria.
A Russian warplane dropping bombs on positions in Syria.

International charity Oxfam has criticized world powers involved in Syria, including Russia, for not helping the victims of the conflict that has lasted more than four years.

In a report released on February 1, Oxfam singled out Russia, Saudi Arabia, and France as being among the least generous in terms of financial aid.

Oxfam released the report ahead of a donor conference in London on February 4 along with an appeal for increased aid and resettlement abroad for 10 percent of the refugees registered in Syria's neighbors by the end of the year.

Oxfam said most rich countries were giving less than their "fair share" of financial aid, the amount a country should contribute relative to the size of its economy.

"Our calculations of commitments that rich countries need to make on aid and resettlement are the bare minimum, and they are repeatedly falling far short," said Andy Baker, who leads Oxfam's response to the Syria crisis. "The London conference has to be a turning point."

Russia gave only 1 percent of its fair share and Saudi Arabia 28 percent. Both countries have not pledged to take in Syrian refugees.

At the same time, Riyadh is sending military aid to rebels fighting against the Syrian government and Moscow is supporting Damascus with air strikes against rebel groups.

Among Western countries, France, which joined the U.S.-led air campaign against Islamic State in Syria in September, gave 45 percent of its "fair share," Oxfam said. Paris took in about 5,000 Syrian refugees last year.

Meanwhile, the United States donated 76 percent of its fair share, although it was the largest single donor. Several European countries gave well over their fair share, such as Denmark (318 percent), Norway (385 percent), and Britain (237 percent).

The Syrian conflict has killed at least 250,000 people, forced millions of people to flee the country, and given an opening to Islamic State militants to seize large areas of the country.

With reporting by Reuters and Oxfam
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