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Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (April 16, 2019)

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 966 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 305 people (92 women and 155 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 661 people (198 women and 337 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 191,607 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

67,858 refugees have left Lebanon (20,501 women and 34,526 children), with 40,397 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 20,427 via Talkalakh;

123,749 people (37,151 women and 63,100 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.

At present there are 6,366,583 Syrians in these countries: (Turkey - 3,646,889, Lebanon - 946,291, Jordan - 670,238, Germany - 534,011, Iraq - 253,085, Egypt - 132,162, 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 420,887 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (126,310 women, 214,548 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.

Internal Displacement

It is reported that 81 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 16 people (8 women and 5 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 141,635 people (42,855 women, 70,034 children);

15 people (women - 4, children - 9) 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, 40,833 people (women – 14,049 children 18,655), 2,381 vehicles and 2,299 heads of cattle.

50 people (women - 6, children - 29), nine vehicles and 40 heads of cattle returned to the places of permanent residence through the Jeleb checkpoint. Since February 19, 2019, in total, 6,031 people (women – 1,551, children 2,997), 430 vehicles and 3,684 heads of cattle.

No refugees have left the Rukban camp over the past day. 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 1,288,023 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (388,939 women, 652,319 children). Since January 1, 2019, 19,427 IDPs (6,380 women, 8,553 children).

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.

Infrastructure Rehabilitation

During the day, restored seven residential houses (Garifa (al-Suwayda province) - three, Bokzata (al-Quneitra province) - two, Gizin (Hama province) - three), and a water pump station in the Jisrein (Damascus province).

In Hama province, in the first quarter of 2019, 27 small enterprises of machine-building, chemical, textile and food industries were put into operation.

The Ministry of Electricity of the Syrian Arab Republic has commissioned a solar-powered power substation in Ithriyah (Hama province), designed to provide power to residential areas of Aleppo province.

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

al-Dimas – a grader, a dump truck, 13 windows, 24 cu m of brick, 19 cu m of cement, 13 tons of building bars, 800kg of lime and filling, 1,250m of water pipes, 1,850m of electric cables to overhaul six houses and a power station;

Hatlah – a dump truck, a wheeled crane, 10 windows, 18 cu m of brick, 16 cu m of cement, 8 tons of building bars, 900kg of lime and filling, 1,400m of water pipes, 1,600m 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:

845 medical and 3,107 educational organizations have been recovered;

five road bridges and 1,032.3 km of roads were recovered (0.4km - over the past day);

953.1km of power line have been installed (0.3 km - over the past day);

627 power substations (one over the past day), 137 water supply facilities, 178 bakeries, 14,266 industrial enterprises (one over the past day) 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.

Humanitarian Assistance

In total, the Russian side has organised and carried out  2,098 humanitarian actions, delivering 3,338.11 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

Over the past 24 hours, citizens of the Syrian Arab Republic have not asked for medical assistance from the specialists of the Russian Defence Ministry.

In total, 104,914 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 Jasim, al-Harra, Douma (Damascus).

2.8 ha of the territory. They found and defused 35 explosive devices.

In total: 2,053.8ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 20,284 explosive devices including 5,388 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 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.

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

in Damascus with the chairman of the national reconciliation committee on organization of a coordination meeting;

in Hatlah (Deir ez-Zor province) with representatives of the administration to discuss cooperation in infrastructure rehabilitation and creation of favourable conditions for returning refugees;

in Aleppo with the Head of Security Committee on issue of consideration of citizens appeals.

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