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Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (April 17, 2019)

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 1,126 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 345 people (103 women and 176 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 781 people (234 women and 398 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 192,733 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

68,203 refugees have left Lebanon (20,604 women and 34,702 children), with 40,604 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 20,565 via Talkalakh;

124,530 people (37,385 women and 63,498 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 422,013 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (126,647 women, 216,647 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 761 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 17 people (6 women and 9 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 141,652 people (42,861 women, 70,043 children);

12 people (women - 3, children - 7) and five vehicles returned to the places of permanent residence in Deir ez-Zor province through the checkpoint al-Salhiyah. Since August 25, 2018, in total, 40,845 people (women – 14,052 children 18,662), 2,386 vehicles and 2,299 heads of cattle.

732 people (women - 166, children - 381), 21 vehicles and four heads of cattle returned to the places of permanent residence through the Jeleb checkpoint. Since February 19, 2019, in total, 6,763 people (women – 1 717, children 3 378), 451 vehicles and 3,688 heads of cattle.

Besides, 703 people (160 women and 370 children), and 17 vehicles have left the Rukban camp. Since February 23, 2019, in total 4,345 people (women - 1,136, children - 2,269), 137 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 1,288,784 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (389,114 women, 652,716 children). Since January 1, 2019, 20,188 IDPs (6,555 women, 8,950 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

Over the past day they have recovered three houses (Busra (Daraa province) - one, Mahin (Homs province) - two), as well as a bakery in al-Muaa (Hama province).

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

Izzeddin – a grader, a dump truck, an excavator, 29 windows, 7 cu m of brick, 11 cu m of cement, 7 tons of building bars, 750kg of lime and filling, 1,650m of water pipes, 1,250m of electric cables, to overhaul six houses, a school and a medical point;

Nawa – a wheeled crane, two dump trucks, 29 windows, 18 cu m of brick, 15 cu m of cement, 17 tons of building bars, 1,280kg of lime and filling, 1,130m of water pipes, 1,150m of electric cables to overhaul six houses and a school.

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 845 educational organizations have been recovered;

five road bridges and 1,032.5 km of roads were recovered (0.2km - over the past day);

953.8km of power line have been installed (0.4 km - over the past day);

627 power substations, 137 water supply facilities, 179 bakeries (one over the past day), 14,266 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 2,389 houses, 216 schools, 171 kindergartens, 199 bakeries, 248 water pump stations, 205 power substations, 202 medical centres, and 93 places of worship.

Humanitarian Assistance

Over the past day there have been a humanitarian action in Aleppo (Aleppo province) to distribute 500 food sets with a total weight of 2.17 tons.

In total, the Russian side has organised and carried out  2,099 humanitarian actions, delivering 3,340.28 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

Four civilians including two children received first medical aid in the town of al-Salhiyah (Deir ez-Zor province).

In total, 104,918 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 (Daraa province), Douma (Damascus).

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

They have cleared up: 2,055.6ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 20,311 explosive devices including 5,388 improvised explosive devices.

Arrangements for Refugee Reception

In the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus and Hama implementing a state program to restore the settlements liberated from the militants. 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.

The Central Bank approved provision for commercial bank Syria the right to investment lending to the industrial sector and housing. For this purpose, the bank's management plans to allocate targeted loans with a preferential interest rate totaling $ 14 million.

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

in Damascus with Local Administration Minister to discuss evacuation of refugees from the Rukban refugee camp;

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

in Aleppo with Deputy Governor to discuss rehabilitation social infrastructure;

in Hama with the chief of Air Force Intelligence Directorate (Mukhabarat) of Homs province to discuss monitoring of movement of refugees.

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