German minister urges rich nations to take in more refugees

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has called for a fairer distribution of refugees among the nations of the world as he prepared to attend the United Nations’ first Global Refugee Forum.

“Among the countries of this world, only 20 per cent are willing at all to take in refugees,” he told the broadcaster ZDF in Geneva on Tuesday. Nine of the 10 countries that take in the most refugees are low or middle-income nations, he noted.

Industrialized countries must do more, Maas said. “We need international scholarship programmes that give refugees a chance to apply their skills,” he told the RND media group. Germany has taken on “far more” responsibility than others recently, he told ZDF.

German Development Minister Gerd Mueller said refugees can be supported much more effectively in their host and origin countries, adding: “That is why it is a scandal that the UN Refugee Agency has this year only received just over half of the funds it needs for its work.”

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