Thursday, February 22, 2018


The European refugee crisis has deluded many voters into believing that most refugees are coming to rich countries. They are not — 84 percent are in low- or middle-income nations. Tanzania is one such country; it hosts over 350,000 refugees mostly from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has had a long-standing commitment to offering sanctuary to persecuted people, despite being among the poorest 30 countries in the world.

 Tanzania was offered $100 million in order to support greater opportunities for refugees, split between a loan and a grant. The idea that a country like Tanzania should have to borrow, even at preferential rates, to host refugees on behalf of the international community was roundly derided by Magufuli when he addressed foreign ambassadors in Dar es Salaam on Feb. 9. The government has been clear that it supports refugees but rejected the plan on principle because it wants rich countries to pay Tanzania rather than forcing it to borrow. Debt forgiveness would be a better way to support host states.

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