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Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (March 13, 2019)

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 972 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 73 people (22 women and 37 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 899 people (270 women and 458 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 157,410 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

59,044 refugees have left Lebanon (17,848 women and 30,032 children), with 35,121 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 16,889 via Talkalakh;

98,366 people (29,536 women and 50,152 children) have passed via the Nasib CP from Jordan.

According to consolidated information provided by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, as for January 1, 2019 there are still 6,675,308 registered refugees seeking asylum in 45 countries worldwide, with 2,002,592 women and 3,404,407 children among them.

In 45 embassies of the Russian Federation in foreign countries where the Syrian refugees seek asylum, 30 countries (Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Germany, Egypt, Iraq, Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Switzerland, Cyprus, Belgium, Italy, Romania, Spain, Ireland, Malta, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Argentina, Luxembourg, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Iceland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia) confirmed the figures provided by the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on Syrian citizens in these countries.

At present there are 6,345,760 Syrians in these countries: (Turkey - 3,622,366, Lebanon - 948,849, Jordan - 671,551, Germany - 534,011, Iraq - 252,526, Egypt - 132,553, Netherlands - 74,998, Austria - 42,505, Denmark - 17,995, Greece - 13,139 , Switzerland - 6,702, Cyprus - 5,899, Belgium - 3,982, Italy - 3,836, Romania - 3,101, Spain - 2,352, Ireland - 1,729, Malta - 1,289, Bosnia and Herzegovina - 1,630, Poland - 1,069, Argentina - 1,496, Luxembourg - 663, Croatia - 530, Slovenia - 460, Iceland - 197, Bulgaria - 180, Hungary - 51, Slovakia - 43, Czech Republic - 39, Latvia - 19).

It is estimated, that 1,712,264 Syrians in nine countries expressed their desire to return back to their homeland (Lebanon – 889,031, Turkey – 297,342, Germany – 174,897, Jordan – 149,268, Iraq – 101,233, Egypt – 99,834, Denmark – 412, Brazil – 149, Austria - 68, Argentina - 30).

Since September 30, 2015, in total 386,690 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (116,042 women, 197,106 children).

Twelve CPs have already deployed for returnees, among them there are:

five on the Syria-Lebanon border (Zemrani, Jaydet-Yabus (Zabadani), al-Sabusiya (al-Aarida), Talkalakh and al-Qusayr (Qusayr));

one on the Syria-Jordan border (Nasib);

three in the Syrian Arab Republic (Abu-al-Dukhur, al-Salhiyah, Jleb);

one CP at Damascus international airport;

one CP at Baniyas sea port.

The leadership of Syria is taking active steps aimed at increasing the efficiency of the process of repatriation of Syrian refugees from the territory of foreign states.

Internal Displacement

It is reported that 111 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 37 people (14 women and 7 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 140,583 people (42,444 women, 69,648 children);

26 people (women - 8, children - 11), three vehicles and two heads of cattle returned to the places of permanent residence through the al-Salhiyah checkpoint. Since August 25, 2018, in total, 39,951 people (women – 13,705 children 18,343), 2,243 vehicles and 2,273 heads of cattle.

48 people (women - 8, children - 26), 9 vehicles and 55 heads of cattle returned to the places of permanent residence through the Jleb checkpoint (Homs province). Since February 19, 2019, in total, 1,203 people (women – 288, children 601), 126 vehicles and 693 heads of cattle.

Over the past day, no refugees have left the Idlib de-escalation zone. Since March 4, 2018, in total, 44,736 people (women – 14,413, children 20,398), 4,751 vehicles and 54,841 heads of cattle left the Idlib de-escalation zone.

Since September 30, 2015, in total 1,281,261 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (386,921 women, 649,225 children). Since January 1, 2019, 12,665 IDPs (4,362 women, 5,459 children).

Cities and Towns Ready to Receive Refugees

There are 1,497,650 places arranged to receive and accommodate refugees in 412 settlements less affected by the combat actions.

Infrastructure Rehabilitation

Over the past day: Seven buildings were recovered over the past day (Djafra - two (Deir ez-Zor province), Arza - two (Hama province), Ayra - one (al-Suwayda province), Qusayr - two (Homs province)), as well as water pump station in Asharna (Hama province) and a bakery in Aleppo.

They assessed  the social infrastructure and facilities, housing fund, amount of construction materials available in Shakra (Daraa province), and Hama.
 In order to improve living conditions for Syrians, and to complete infrastructure rehabilitation  it is necessary to supply materials in the following towns:

Hama –a wheeled crane, a dump truck, 24 windows, 19 cu m of brick, 18 cu m of cement, 9 tons of building bars, 1,030kg of lime and filling, 1,350m of water pipes, 1,050m of electric cables to overhaul seven houses, a bakery and a water pump station;

Shakra – an excavator, a grader, a dump truck, 22 windows, 16 cu m of brick, 14 cu m of cement, 7 tons of building bars, 1,100kg of lime and filling, 1,150m of water pipes, 1,400m of electric cables to overhaul five houses, a medical station and a power station.

Heads of local administrations prepared applications  to the Ministry of Public Works and housebuilding to receive construction materials for recovering social infrastructure. 

Since July 18, 2018, in total, in the Syrian Arab Republic:

146 medical and 825 educational organizations have been recovered;

five road bridges and 1,018.8 km of roads were recovered (1km - over the past day);

940.6km of power line have been installed (0.6 km - over the past day);

606 power substations, 131 water supply facilities (one over the past day), 164 bakeries (one over the past day), 14,262 industrial enterprises have been put into operation.

Currently, in 345 settlements of the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Deir-ez-Zor, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Daraa, al-Suwayda, al-Quneitra, Raqqa, work is underway to overhaul 2,313 houses, 210 schools, 172 kindergartens, 192 bakeries, 242 water pump stations, 204 power substations, 199 medical centres, and 93 places of worship.

Humanitarian Assistance

Over the past day there have been a humanitarian action in Eyn-Asaf (Aleppo province) to distribute 500 food sets with a total weight of 2.16 tons.

The total number of humanitarian actions is 2,081, delivering 3,301.3 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

One civilian received medical aid in the town of al-Salhiyah (Deir ez-Zor province).

In total, 104,869 Syrians were provided with medical assistance by Russian military medics.

Mine Clearance

The SAA engineering units carry on the mine clearance operation in the settlements of Shaukatliya, al-Othmaniyah, Oufaniya, Trunja, Rafid, Qseiba (al-Quneitra province), al-Zelaf (Damascus province), Ein-Zat, Talbiseh (Homs province).

2 ha of the territory. They found and defused 26 explosive devices.

In total: 1,958.3 ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 19,249 explosive devices including 5,414 improvised explosive devices.

Arrangements for Refugee Reception

The government program on restoration settlements liberated from the militants has started in Damascus, Aleppo and Hama provinces. The program consists of three phases: preparation of infrastructure (water supply, electrification), targeted aid to the population, the repatriation of residents to permanent housing.

The Council of Ministers of the Syrian Arab Republic adopted a preliminary budget for the fund of payments to victims of drought and natural disasters for 2019 in the amount of $ 13.8 million. Compensation for crop loss due to natural anomalies will be alocated from these funds.

National Reconciliation Committees established in Syrian provinces and cities (made up by heads of administrations, police, sheiks, representatives of public organizations and opposition) hold negotiations on joining ceasefire regime and voluntary defection to the side of legal government and the surrender of weapons. Former members of illegal armed formations and internally displaced persons are granted amnesty who lived in the territories earlier occupied by terrorists.

The Joint Coordination Committee of the Syrian Arab Republic on the repatriation of refugees carries out social and economic activities to activate the process of infrastructure rehabilitation; all necessary measures are taken to enable refugees and internally displaced persons to return back to their homeland.

Officers of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides held two working meetings:

in Hatlah (Deir ez-Zor province) to discuss granting amnesty to people living on the left shore of the Euphrates;

in Aleppo with Deputy Governor to discuss rehabilitation social infrastructure;

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