A common misconception spread by anti-immigration conservatives is that refugees and economic migrants are a burden on the countries that accept them. But new studies conducted by the UN, IMF and various top economists, indicate that not only are refugees not a burden, but they actually offer their host countries a significant economic boost.
After examining the data, numerous world-renowned economic experts have concluded that the positive economic impact of refugees far outweighs the costs. A study conducted by the UN found that when a refugee camp is set up, average incomes in the surrounding area increase by 60-90 percent, vastly outweighing the initial cost of food aid, cash payments, shelter and healthcare. Most of the economic growth comes from refugee small businesses that buy products from the host country and employ people both inside and outside the refugee camps.
The IMF also recently conducted a study concluding that Syrian refugees will significantly boost GDP in European countries such as Austria, Germany and Sweden. The IMF recommended that EU governments create programs to educate Syrian refugees, and subsidize businesses that hire them, to speed up their integration into the economy and yield the maximum economic benefit.
The fear mongering we constantly hear from the paranoid far right about the impact of refugees, is a far-cry from the economic studies conducted by the world’s top economists, which unanimously show that refugees provide a net economic benefit. Progressives and intellectuals need to cut through the anti-immigration hysteria and present ordinary people with the cold, hard facts about how refugees will benefit the economies of the West. It’s somewhat understandable that many people fear the influx of large numbers of immigrants from different cultures, but it’s important to remain objective when presented with these challenges, and look to the experts for comprehensive analyses of the facts and data, so that we can make the right choices for our countries, and for our children’s futures.