NEW: Obama unveils U.S. effort to take in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees next fiscal year
Turkey is home to almost half of the 4.1 million Syrian refugees
Several Gulf countries have offered zero resettlements to Syrians
The expanding Syrian refugee crisis highlights the differences among countries that welcome desperate migrants and those that don’t.
Some 4.1 million Syrians are fleeing a homeland riven by more than four years of civil war. Some countries have taken in so many migrants it’s caused a population spike, while others have done little or nothing at all.
Here’s a country-by-country look at what is being done to address the worst refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide more than 20 years ago, according to experts.
Which countries take in the Syrian refugees?
Turkey: 1.9 million
Remarkably, this country now shelters almost half of the Syrian refugees and clearly has more than it can handle.
It’s the No. 1 destination for displaced families.
Geography explains much of it: Turkey and Syria share a border.
The masses are so vast that 14% of them are sheltered in camps, U.S. figures show.
A staggering share of them are children and teens: More than half are under age 17, according to U.N. figures.
Lebanon: 1.1 million
The influx is so profound in Lebanon that the 1.1 million Syrian refugees mark a 25% increase in the country’s 4.4 million population.
Those figures make Lebanon the country with the highest per capita concentration of refugees, the United Nations says. It also shares a border with Syria.
“The influx of a million refugees would be massive in any country. For Lebanon, a small nation beset by internal difficulties, the impact is staggering,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said last year.
Jordan provides shelter to a large number of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Sudan, but Syrians constitute the majority of Jordan’s refugee population, the United Nations says.
Jordan has a history of taking in refugees. Nearly half of its 7 million population is of Palestinian origin.
The Syrian arrivals, however, strain resources and “could have a negative impact on Jordanian public opinion of refugees and make preserving the country’s asylum space in the country challenging,” the United Nations says.
About 20% of the Syrian arrivals live in camps.
Like Syria, Iraq has been torn by attacks launched by ISIS, the extremist Islamist group that has captured portions of both countries for what it calls its Islamic caliphate.
Not surprisingly, most of the Syrian refugees have settled in northern areas such as Irbil, Duhuk and Nineveh, which are among the closest to the Syrian border and have large Kurdish populations, the United Nations says.
The notion of Syrian refugees in Iraq may strike some as ironic, if not absurd, because Iraq has deteriorated under sectarian strife and ISIS assaults, producing a sizable population of Iraqi refugees.
“As Syria’s civil war has dragged on, the direction of forced migration for many Iraqi refugees has reversed. Tens of thousands of Iraqis who sought refuge in Syria between 2003 and 2011 have returned home, joining about a million Iraqis who were already internally displaced,” Refugees International said.
About 38% of the Syrian refugees live in camps in Iraq, the U.S. State Department says.
Egypt rounds out this look at how the Mideast hosts most of the Syrian refugees.
No refugees live in camps there.
In fact, Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, one of the region’s wealthiest men, has offered to buy an island for refugees. He would like to buy an isle from Greece or Italy. His name for the proposed island home: Hope.
Which countries are getting Syrian asylum requests?
As Germany faces the largest share of Syrian requests for asylum in Europe, Chancellor Angela Merkel called for quotas to be set for each country to take a share of displaced people, including from Syria.
Germany expects the overall asylum requests to soar above the current U.N. count of 98,700 from Syrians alone.