Saudi Arabia has offered a solution to assist the wave of Syrian refugees coming to Germany. The Kingdom has offered to build 200 mosques to accommodate the refugees fleeing their country's civil war.
The offer, that is pending approval from German authorities, comes after wealthy Gulf nations have been criticized for doing little to offer refuge to Syrians and Iraqis displaced by the civil war. Despite being a part of the US-led coalition to fight the Islamic State (Isis) militants in Syria and Iraq, wealthy Gulf nations have not been at the forefront as the migrant crisis looms over Europe.
Gulf states, including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, "have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees," according to an Amnesty International report from December 2014, reported France24 News. Meanwhile, several neighbouring countries, like Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq have taken in several refugees.
Turkey took some 2mn Syrian refugees, while Lebanon assisted some 1.1mn and Jordan nearly 630,000 asylum seekers, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Saudi Arabia in contrast has assisted merely 561 refugees and 100 asylum seekers in 2014, according to the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), reported The Wall Street Journal.
While the Kingdom has assisted financially by contributing to a UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Syria fund, critics say that is not enough. "Burden sharing has no meaning in the Gulf, and the Saudi, Emirati and Qatari approach has been to sign a cheque and let everyone else deal with it," said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch for its Middle East and North Africa division, reported The New York Times. "Now everyone else is saying, 'That's not fair.'"
According to UN estimates, over 4 million Syrians have left their country's civil war in the hope of a better life. Germany is expecting nearly 800,000 asylum applicants and refugees in 2015.