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Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (March 15, 2019)

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 1,016 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 156 people (47 women and 80 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 860 people (258 women and 439 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 159,295 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

59,308 refugees have left Lebanon (17,928 women and 30,167 children), with 35,280 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 16,994 via Talkalakh;

99,987 people (30,022 women and 50,979 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, Egypt - 132,553, Iraq - 252,772, 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, Bulgaria - 180, Hungary - 51, Iceland - 197, 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 388,575 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (116,608 women, 198,068 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 52 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 25 people (8 women and 11 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 140,639 people (42,463 women, 69,672 children);

24 people (women - 7, children - 11) and two vehicles returned to the places of permanent residence in Deir ez-Zor province through the checkpoint al-Salhiyah. Since August 25, 2018, in total, 39,995 people (women – 13,722 children 18,360), 2,249 vehicles and 2,277 heads of cattle.

3 people, two vehicles and 60 heads of cattle returned to the places of permanent residence through the Jeleb checkpoint.

Since February 19, 2019, in total, 1,221 people (women – 288, children 601), 126 vehicles and 133 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 1,281,370 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (386,957 women, 649,266 children). Since January 1, 2019, 12,774 IDPs (4,398 women, 5,500 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

Seven buildings have been recovered over the past day (al-Qlia (Aleppo province) - two, Uqayribat (Hama province) - three, Yabroud (Damascus province) - two), and a power station in Djasim (Daraa province).

The Ministry of Transport of the Syrian Arab Republic announced its readiness to commission the Damascus - Eastern Ghouta highway (Damascus province), destroyed by terrorists. The road will connect the capital with ten settlements and will allow to intensify trade and economic activities in the province. The total cost of work is 125,000 USD.

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

Mesraba – a wheeled crane, a dump truck, 19 windows, 7 cu m of brick, 5 cu m of cement, 9 tons of building bars, 950kg of lime and filling, 600m of water pipes, 700m of electric cables to overhaul five houses, a bakery and a water pump station;

Kafer al-Tun – a grader, a dump trucks, 6 cu m of brick, 22 windows, 5 tons of building bars, 600kg of lime and filling, 800m of water pipes, 900m of electric cables, 6 cu m of cement to overhaul five houses, a school and a hospital.

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:

147 medical and 825 educational organizations have been recovered;

five road bridges and 1019,5 km of roads were recovered (0.4km - over the past day);

941.7km of power line have been installed (0.6 km - over the past day);

608 power substations (one over the past day), 131 water supply facilities, 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 2,308 houses, 211 schools, 172 kindergartens, 193 bakeries, 243 water pump stations, 202 power substations, 201 medical centres, and 93 places of worship.

Humanitarian Assistance

Besides, the Kadyrov Regional Public Fund distributed fifteen sets of food products in Aleppo city.

In total, the Russian side has organised and carried out  2,082 humanitarian actions, delivering 3,303.47 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

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

The Syrian Arab Republic Ministry of Health conducts a company to provide social assistance to people suffering from diseases of the central nervous system. .

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).

1,7 ha of the territory. They found and defused 27 explosive devices.

In total: 1,962 ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 19,302 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.

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 and Refugee Migration Monitoring held three working meetings:

in Hatlah (Deir ez-Zor province) with representatives of reconciliation committee to agree on the lists of persons wishing to return to the territory controlled by the government;

with Governor of Aleppo province to discuss areas for humanitarian actions;

in Aleppo with the chief of security committee to clarify results of appeals from the branch of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring.

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