GENEVA , Switzerland, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Countries other than those surrounding Syria should take in refugees from the Syrian civil war, a coalition of 36 relief organizations urged.
The non-governmental agencies, including Oxfam, Amnesty International Save the Children and Islamic Relief, in a joint letter released prior to a United Nations' donors conference Tuesday in Geneva, said Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, had shown "great generosity" in sheltering the 3.6 million people displaced by the conflict. It called on the world's wealthy nations to admit at least five percent of the refugees.
Amnesty International noted only 1.7 percent of the displaced people were offered sanctuary elsewhere than Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt or Iraq.
France, the United Kingdom, Poland, Italy and Spain have agreed to take in only 2,000 refugees between them, and Germany and Sweden have received over 100,000 applications for asylum, the British newspaper The Guardian noted.
"The shortfall in the number of resettlement places for refugees offered by the international community is truly shocking," said Sherif Elsayed-Ali of Amnesty International.
The U.N. conference is asking member states to provide resettlement for at least 100,000 refugees by the end of 2016. The goal of resettling 30,000 by the end of 2014 has been reached.
"This is one of the worst refugee crises since world war two, displacing millions of civilians, mostly women and children. We're counting on governments in Geneva to move quickly to demonstrate the kind of international solidarity that is desperately needed to transform the lives of the most vulnerable refugees," Mark Goldring of Oxfam said.