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Joint Coordination Committee holds another session in Moscow to discuss repatriation of Syrian refugees

Due to taken measures, 1,478,851 people have already returned to Syria. Among them there are over 1,234,827 internally displaced persons and over 224,024 refugees from abroad.

At the same time, 3,158 refugees including 494 those from abroad and 2,664 internally displaced persons have made their way back home over the past week.

With support of foreign countries and international organisations we instensify recovery of social infrastructure in the country.

Over the past week the following facilities have been overhauled in Syria: 126 houses,

two medical institutions, a kindergarten, water supply facilities, two bakeries, two power substations, two industrial plants, three sewage treatment facilities.

Currently, in 216 settlements work is underway to overhaul 138 schools, 116 kindergartens, 109 bakeries, 113 water pump stations, 119 power substations, 106 medical centres and 1,468 houses and 79 places of worship.

This work is crucial for favourable conditions to be created for the returnees.

It is of paramount importance to create new jobs for the Syrian which requires recovering of economy.

The Syrian government has done much in the field. The 60th Damascus International Fair played a great role in stimulating the economy of the country. At the forum they discussed a number of projects involving foreign business.

Chiness entrepreneurs have actively joined this work. They help to recover some objects of infrastructure.

On September 21, 2018, the Russian Defence Ministry hosted a meeting with Special Representative for Syria and Iraq Knut Lein from Norway.

At present Norway participates in humanitarian assistance to Syria through the UN. It is also interested in humanitarian assistance via the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syrian and Norway Embassy in Damascus.

Cultural life is being recovered in Syria.

The Russian Federation has been assisting to reconstruct cultural heritage destroyed by terrorists. During one of the recent projects, specialists from Sverdlovsk region helped restore a museum complex in Palmyra.

The International Committee of Red Cross continues to provide assistance to Syrian people. This year they have already delivered over 800 tons of humanitarian cargo to the country.

Report of Nikolay Burtsev, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Russian diplomatic organizations including permanent missions of are working to consolidate international efforts aimed to enable refugees to return back to their former places of residence.

A joint working group is being established to help Syrian government improve regulatory and legal framework.

As reported by Russian Embassy in Jordan, Syrian and Jordanian sides have prepared to open Syrian-Jordanian boarder also for repatriation purpose. In Jordan itself, work is underway to provide Syrians staying in the Kingdom with employment, to provide Azraq refugee camp with power.

The 73th session of the Standing Committee of the Executive Board of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was held in Geneva on 19-20 September. A draft budget for 2019 of the Office was presented at the session. According to the document, UNHCR intends to intensify activities in Syria to meet the needs of returnees and IDPs, but is not going to stimulate the process until conditions for sustainable repatriation are created in the country.

The approaches of Western countries have not changed. For example, here is Germany's position on this issue: since there are no conditions for the return of Syrians, the UNHCR in Syria should assist the returnees with caution and only as an "emergency response".

The Russian permanent mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva held a number of meetings colleagues from Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, China and Iran. Russian representatives called for support of our approaches. The partners unequivocally agreed with our initiative, calling it timely and important in terms post-conflict stabilization in the Syrian Arab Republic.

Report by the representative of the Syrian Joint Coordinating Committee Muteza Kattana.

Syrian Government and Joint Coordination Committee is actively working on implementation of the repatriation plan, as well as on involving returnees in all spheres of live - social, political economical and others fields for the benefit of their Fatherland.

At present all the reception centres in various Syrian provinces have been equipped with all necessary: drinking water, sewerage, electricity.

Since the beginning of the crisis 478 centres have been arranged. Their number is decreasing as well as the number of internally displaced persons (IPDs). Today, we have 218 of these centres.

Besides, destroyed and unfinished houses were recovered and overhauled. Since the beginning of the crisis we have already recovered 29,337 houses.

The number of schools restored since the beginning of the crisis exceeds 5,000. At the same time more than 30 000 teachers were hired to resume the educational process before the beginning of the school year.

The Ministry of Education has completed preparations so that more than 1 million refugee students can enter educational institutions. We can accept even more than a million by introducing an additional shift in schools in the most densely populated areas.

Thirteen projects have been implemented within the reconstruction programme.

Forty hospitals and clinics and 246 health centres have been rehabilitated.

In addition, in accordance with the rehabilitation plan of the country's infrastructure, projects in the field of education, training, road construction, health care and wastewater disposal are implemented in the first place. The necessary resources have been allocated for the rehabilitation of 1,019 schools, construction of 18 new ones, the rehabilitation and construction of 49 health centres, 13 hospitals and 103 km of local roads.

Work is underway to attract foreign companies' investments in the Syrian economy.

Currently, the three cities are implementing 236 investment industrial projects totaling 75 billion Syrian lira with the participation of foreign investors.

The Government of Syria has allocated 37 billion of Syrian lira to recover the post-war devastation, in particular more than ten billion to rehabilitate the infrastructure and return industrial enterprises to the operation.

Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic Abdulmunem Anan:

In order to implement the plans and programs of the Syrian Government for recovery of the country's economy in 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the SAR established a Bureau for the reconstruction of the country and economic issues. Through diplomatic missions abroad it addresses issues of establishing ties with Syrian businessmen abroad, motivating them to return capital to the country and participate in its reconstruction.

Over the past year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued dozens of orders to its missions abroad aimed at activating the policy of economic diplomacy and stimulating foreign investors to participate in the implementation of Syria's reconstruction projects.

The Syrian government considers the holding international conference on the repatriation of refugees in Damascus as a matter of priority. Steps are being taken to enlist the support of the United Nations in its organization.

Representative of the Ministry of Economy and Foreign trade of the Syrian Arab Republic Ranija Ahmad (female)

The leadership of the Ministry is focused on the main efforts in two aspects:

first - to take urgent measures to maintain a stable, dignified life for citizens, which will allow to maintain a proper level of public trust to the Government;

second - to lay the groundwork for re-launching the production cycle nationwide, modernizing existing plants and factories and rehabilitating war-affected people, creating jobs, and ensuring employment growth and to achieve the desired growth of productivity, in order to encourage temporary immigrants to return, to obtain the necessary sources of income, to maintain the stability of their lives in their homeland.

A great work is being done to release Syrian products to foreign markets. In some cases we have managed to agree with our partners to exchange different groups of goods on concessional terms.

In addition, the Ministry of Economy and Foreign trade is working on a number of measures that will facilitate the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, linking them to large projects.

The representative of the Ministry of Industry of the Syrian Arab Republic Dr. Nidal Faljuh

Before the crisis the ministry provided functioning of 96 large industrial enterprises. During the war 46 of them seized their production, 18 work partially and 32 enterprises continue to work.

At the same time, we examine the profitability of investment proposals for the development of companies and enterprises producing: milk and cheeses, preserving agents and yeast, medication, acids, processed basalt, solar heating devices, rechargeable batteries, jeans fabrics.

Report of Lieutenant General Savchenko.

Over the past day, the refugee checkpoints have continued to operate in normal mode.

Over the past day, in total 96 people (29 women and 48 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus, and al-Dabusya.

It is reported that 527 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 22 people (9 women and 10 children).

403 people (women - 139, children - 182) and 8 vehicles returned back to the places of permanent residence in Deir ez-Zor and Damascus provinces through the checkpoint al-Salhiyah.

A total of 102 refugees (35 women and 38 children) have passed via the Abu al-Duhur CP from the Idlib de-escalation zone.

Over the past day there have been a humanitarian action Daraa to distribute 450 food sets with a total weight of 1.9 tons.

Besides, civilians in Aleppo received a ton of bread and targeted aid.

In total, the Russian side has organised and carried out 1,942 humanitarian actions, delivering 3,028.9 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

Moreover, 112 civilians including 58 children received first medical aid in the towns of al-Salhiyah (Deir ez-Zor province) and Abu-al-Duhur.

In total, 93,338 Syrians were provided with medical assistance by Russian military medics.

Report of Major Kashapov:

The Salhiyah checkpoint is open for reception of Syrian citizens from the territory controlled by the Kurdish detachment of self-defence since August 25, 2018.

Its capacity is 800 people and up to 30 vehicles per day.

Each returned refugee meets with representatives of the administration individually. People are provided with food and an opportunity to relax. As humanitarian aid, the things necessary on the road are distributed.

All those who have passed control and registration, are sent at their own request to the place of residence on the bus or own vehicle.

For the last day in the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory controlled by the Kurdish detachment of self-defense, through the al-Salhiyah checkpoint came 403 people, and only from 25 August 2018 – 13,093 people and 262 pieces of equipment.

The checkpoint is operating normally.

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