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Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (April 14, 2019)

I. Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 1,320 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 279 people (84 women and 142 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 1,041 people (312 women and 531 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 189,525 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

67,232 refugees have left Lebanon (20,313 women and 34,208 children), with 40,021 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 20,177 via Talkalakh;

122,293 people (36,714 women and 62,358 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 6 696 131 registered refugees seeking asylum in 45 countries worldwide, with 2,000,839 women and 3,415,027 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.

On the territory of these countries there are 6,366,583 people. At present there are 3,646,889 Syrians in these countries: (Turkey - 946,291, Lebanon - 670,238, Jordan - 534,011, Germany - 253,085, Iraq - 132,165, Egypt - 74,162, Netherlands - 42,505, Austria - 17,995, Denmark - 13,139, Greece - 6,702 , Switzerland - 5,899, Cyprus - 3,982, Belgium - 3,836, Italy - 3,101, Romania - 2,352, Spain - 1,729, Ireland - 1,496, Malta - 1,630, Bosnia and Herzegovina - 1,069, Poland - 663, Argentina - 1,289, Luxembourg - 530, Croatia - 460, Slovenia - 197, Iceland - 180, Bulgaria - 51, Hungary - 43, Slovakia - 39, Czech Republic - 19, 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 418,805 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (125,685 women, 213,488 children).

Eleven 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.

II. Internal Displacement

It is reported that 1,447 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 19 people (8 women and 7 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 141,599 people (42,841 women, 70,020 children);

17 people (women - 4, children - 11) and three vehicles returned to the places of permanent residence in Deir ez-Zor province through the checkpoint al-Salhiyah. Since August 25, 2018, in total, 40,807 people (women – 14,043 children 18,644), 2,375 vehicles and 2,299 heads of cattle.

1,411 people (women - 410, children - 778), 42 vehicles and 16 heads of cattle returned to the places of permanent residence through the Jeleb checkpoint. Since February 19, 2019, in total, 5,964 people (women – 1,541, children - 2,963), 417 vehicles and 3,614 heads of cattle.

Besides, 1,358 people (396 women and 757 children), and 35 vehicles have left the Rukban camp. Since February 23, 2019, in total 3,642 people (women 976, children 1,899), 120 vehicles have left the area.

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 1,287 894 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (388,909 women, 652,260 children). Since January 1, 2019, 19,298 IDPs (6,350 women, 8,494 children).

III. Cities and Towns Ready to Receive Refugees

There are 1,502,650 places arranged to receive and accommodate refugees in 413 settlements less affected by the combat actions.

IV. Infrastructure Rehabilitation

During the day, restored, seven residential buildings (al-Basiri (Homs province) - two, Mahardeh (Hama province) - one, Jayrud (Damascus province) - one, Jebab (Daraa province) - three), and a kindergarten in Zamalka (Damascus province).

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

Smah – a dump truck, an excavator, 24 windows, 10 cu m of brick, 8 cu m of cement, 8 tons of building bars, 1,100kg of lime and filling, 800m of water pipes, 500m of electric cables to overhaul five houses and a school.

Kseiba – a dump truck, a wheeled crane, 20 windows, 9 cu m of brick, 10 cu m of cement, 6 tons of building bars, 550kg of lime and filling, 650m of water pipes, 750m of electric cables, to overhaul four houses and a bakery.

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:

156 medical and 844 educational organizations (one over the past day) have been recovered;

five road bridges and 1,031.4 km of roads were recovered (0.3km - over the past day);

952.5km of power line have been installed (0.3 km - over the past day);

626 power substations, 136 water supply facilities, 177 bakeries, 14 265 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 2,380 houses, 214 schools, 171 kindergartens, 200 bakeries, 248 water pump stations, 205 power substations, 201 medical centres, and 93 places of worship.

V. Humanitarian Assistance

In total, the Russian side has organised and carried out  2,096 humanitarian actions, . delivering 3,333.78 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

In total, 104,914 Syrians were provided with medical assistance by Russian military medics.

VI. Mine Clearance

The SAA engineering units carry on the mine clearance operation in the settlements of Jasim, al-Harra, Douma (Damascus).

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

In total: 2,048.4ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 20,226 explosive devices including 5,388 improvised explosive devices.

VII. 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 assistance to the population, the return of residents to their homes.

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.

Administration of Aleppo province is working on recovering water supply system in regions liberated from terrorists. On April 11, a new pumping station with a capacity of 600 thousand cubic meters per day was commissioned in the administrative center A project is being implemented to repair the pipeline destroyed by militants and pumping stations from the Euphrates River to Aleppo worth $ 9.2 million.

Officers of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring held three working meetings:

in Damascus with a representative of the Ministry of Social Affairs to discuss evacuation of refugees from the Rukban camp;

in Hama with the Director of the Technical Affairs Department on the procedure for providing remote settlements with communications and drinking water;

in Hatlah (Deir ez-Zor province) with local administration to discuss rehabilitation of social infrastructure.

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