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

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 810 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 319 people (95 women and 162 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 491 people (153 women and 261 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 222,848 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

77,843 refugees have left Lebanon (23,203 women and 38,762 children), with 46,388 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 24,421 via Talkalakh;

145,005 people (43,530 women and 73,941 children) have passed via the Nasib CP from Jordan.

According to consolidated information provided by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, as for November 1, 2018 there are still 6,659,752 registered refugees seeking asylum in 45 countries worldwide, with 1,997,926 women and 3,396,474 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 6,330,204 Syrians in these countries: (Turkey - 3,621,330, Lebanon - 944,613, Jordan - 660,393, Germany - 534,011, Egypt - 132,165, Iraq - 253,085, 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 452,128 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (135,688 women, 230,481 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 19 Syrians returned back to:

  • Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 8 people (2 women and 4 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 141,954 people (42,968 women, 70,145 children);
  • Eight people (women - 2, children - 5) to the places of permanent residence in Deir ez-Zor province through the checkpoint al-Salhiyah. Since August 25, 2018, in total, 41,023 people (women – 14,100 children 18,767), 2,410 vehicles and 2,299 heads of cattle.
  • Three people, one vehicle and 25 heads of cattle returned to the places of permanent residence through the Jleb checkpoint. Since February 19, 2019, in total, 15,111 people (women – 4,124, children - 7,589), 909 vehicles and 4,356 heads of cattle.

Over the past day, no refugees have left the Rukban camp. Since March 23, 2019, in total 12,292 people (women 3,453, children 6,334), 500 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 1,297,612 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (391,676 women, 657,134 children). Since January 1, 2019, 29,016 IDPs (9,117 women, 13,368 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: Three buildings were recovered over the past day (Tafas- one (Daraa province), Rikamah - two (Homs province)) and a power station in Madan Atiq (Deir ez-Zor province).

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

  • Harran-al-Avamid – a bulldozer, a wheeled crane, 16 windows, 7 cu m of brick, 12 cu m of cement, 8 tons of building bars, 17 floor slabs, 950 kg of finishing material, 1,500m of water pipes, 2,150m of electric cables, to overhaul seven houses and a school;
  • al-Said – a grader, a dump truck, 19 windows, 4 cu m of bricks, 7 cu m of cement, 6 tons of building bars, 1,250kg of lime and filling, 1,250m of water pipes, 1,400m of electric cables, to overhaul four houses and power supply 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:

  • 165 medical and 852 educational organizations (one over the past day) have been recovered;
  • five road bridges and 1,042.4 km of roads were recovered (0.2km - over the past day);
  • 963.9km of power line have been installed (0.3 km - over the past day);
  • 639 power substations (one over the past day), 141 water supply facilities, 189 bakeries (one over the past day), 14,305 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 2,444 houses, 219 schools, 169 kindergartens, 200 bakeries, 248 water pump stations, 205 power substations, 204 medical centres, and 93 places of worship.

Humanitarian Assistance

In total, the Russian side has organised and carried out  2,113 humanitarian actions, delivering 3,366.53 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

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

In total, 105,046 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), Nafa (Damascus province).

1,9 ha of the territory. They found and defused 65 explosive devices.

In total: 2,123.9ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 21,280 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 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.

The Syrian Ministry of Communications has published a report on the restoration of the country's telecommunications sector. Since January 2019, 18 post offices and 48 telephone substations have been commissioned. The number of subscribers reached 2.7 million people, 3.9 million people have access to the services of wireless channels.

Al-Hasakah Province Department of Agriculture announced its readiness for the upcoming harvest. The necessary maintenance of machinery and granaries has been carried out, a supply of fuel and lubricants has been created. The planned volume of wheat harvest in the region is 12,000 tons, barley - 15,000 tons.

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 UN Refugee Department on the organization and conduct of humanitarian actions;
  • in Hatlah (Deir ez-Zor province) with representatives of local authorities to discus rehabilitation of water supply facilities.
  • with the Head of Aleppo city Security Committee on situation in the province.
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