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    European Council President Donald Tusk gestures as he briefs the media after Britain voted to leave the bloc, in Brussels, Belgium, June 24, 2016.

    Donald Tusk EU 'Close to the Limit' on Refugee Admissions Comment Criticized

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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1818)
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    Migration experts have criticized comments made by Donald Tusk, president of the European Union, that Europe is "close to the limits" on the number of refugees it can accept.

    Dr. Jeff Crisp, from the Refugee Studies Center at Oxford University suggested on Twitter that Tusk should try telling countries like including Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Uganda that the EU is "close to the limit" on refugee admissions.

    ​​More than 4.5 million Syrian refugees are in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. According to Amnesty International (AI), Turkey hosts 2.5 million refugees from Syria; Lebanon hosts approximately 1.1 million refugees, which accounts to one in five people in the country.

    ​Approximately 635,324 refugees live in Jordan, that's 10 percent of the population. Iraq hosts 245,022 Syrian refugees and Egypt hosts 117,658 refugees.

    According to AI, 86 percent of Syrian refugees living in urban areas of Jordan exist below the local poverty line.

    In Lebanon, refugees have US$0.70 cent a day for food.

    However speaking ahead of the G20 Summit in China, Donald Tusk called on other countries to "scale up" their share of responsibility for refugees.

    "The practical capabilities of Europe to host new waves of refugees, not to mention irregular economic migrants, are close to the limits," said Tusk.

    "In light of an unprecedented number of 65 million displaced people all over the world, the G20 community needs to scale up its share of responsibility.

    "Only global efforts supporting refugees and their host communities will be able to bear fruit," he added.

    More than a million migrants and refugees arrived in Europe in 2015, but it's 2016 that is proving to be the deadliest year on record for refugees dying in the central Mediterranean region.

    "The chances of dying on the Libya to Italy route are ten times higher than when crossing from Turkey to Greece," William Spindler, a spokesperson for the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) said.

    More than 115,000 refugees and migrants have landed in Italy so far this year; but for every 42 crossings from North Africa, one person dies.

    "This makes 2016 to date the deadliest year on record," Mr Spindler, a spokesperson for UNHCR said.

    Overall, around 281,740 people made the sea crossing to Europe so far this year — 4,176 have gone missing or have died.

    The European Union's scheme to redistribute 160,000 migrants among member states continues to fall short.

    Many member states still refuse to adopt the EU's policy, leaving the European Commission little choice but to impose financial penalties on countries who can seemingly afford to reject their share of asylum seekers while other countries, including Lebanon and Jordan take in more.

    Topic:
    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1818)

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    Tags:
    migrant distribution quotas, migrant quota, Middle East, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Amnesty International, Donald Tusk, Italy, Europe, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, lebanon, Jordan, United Kingdom, Denmark, Egypt, Greece
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