'Cheap option' led to refugee crisis, says UN agency chief

The head of the UN refugee agency in Jordan has accused donor countries of choosing the “cheap option” by failing to provide sufficient aid in Syria, leading to the migration crisis in Europe.

Andrew Harper said it would have been more cost-effective for the international community to spend more money in countries next to Syria, such as Jordan and Lebanon, where more than four million refugees found asylum.

Cash-strapped aid agencies have been forced to cut back support for desperate refugees in these countries, and more are now trying to reach Europe.

Mr Harper said Europe, the Gulf states and others “sought the cheap option, which was to provide us with peanuts in order to deal with the worst humanitarian situation for decades”.

'Cheap option' led to refugee crisis, says UN agency chief

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