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Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (February 3, 2019)

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 1,060 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 310 people (93 women and 158 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 750 people (225 women and 383 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 121,869 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

50,645 refugees have left Lebanon (15,320 women and 25,747 children), with 30,084 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 13,527 via Talkalakh;

71,224 people (21,393 women and 36,309 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 351,149 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (105,371 women, 178,978 children).

Ten CPs have already been 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);

two in the Syrian Arab Republic (Abu-al-Duhur and al-Salhiyah);

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 274 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 30 people (10 women and 11 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 139,095 people (41,910 women, 69,061 children);

244 people (women - 83, children - 106), 22 vehicles and 3 heads of cattle returned back to the places of permanent residence in Deir ez-Zor and Damascus provinces through the checkpoint al-Salhiyah.

Since August 25, 2018, in total, 37,547 people (women – 12,758 children 17,425), 2,150 vehicles and 2,258 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 1,276,166 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (385,152 women, 647,119 children). Since January 1, 2019, 7,570 IDPs (2,593 women, 3,353 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

Over the past day: Five buildings were recovered over the past day (Mayadin - two (Deir ez-Zor province), Qarahta- two (Damascus province), Shuqaidila - one (Aleppo province)) a power sub station in Boqzata (al-Quneitra province) and a school in Aira (al-Suwayda province).

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They assessed the social infrastructure and facilities, housing fund, amount of construction materials available in Imtan (al-Suwayda province), and Djadua (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:

Imtan – a wheeled crane, a dump truck, a grader, 26 windows, 19 cu m of brick, 16 cu m of cement, 1,300kg of lime and filling, 1,050m of water pipes, 1,730m of

electric cables and 12 tons of building bars to overhaul five houses, a power station and a bakery;

Djadua – an excavator, a mobile drilling unit, a grader, 28 windows, 24 cu m of brick, 15 cu m of cement, 1,950kg of lime and filling, 2,500m of water pipes, 950m of electric cables and 12 tons of building bars to overhaul three houses, a bakery and a water pump 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:

136 medical and 807 educational organizations (one over the past day) have been recovered;

five road bridges and 992 km of roads were recovered (1 km - over the past day);

910 km of power line have been installed (1 km - over the past day);

584 power substations (one over the past day), 125 water supply facilities, 148 bakeries, 14,256 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 2,198 houses, 211 schools, 179 kindergartens, 192 bakeries, 234 water pump stations, 208 power substations, 190 medical centres, and 93 places of worship.

Humanitarian Assistance

Over the past day there have been a humanitarian action in Al-Suqaylabiyah (Hama province) to distribute 1000 food sets with a total weight of 4.33 tons.

Besides, the Kadyrov Regional Public Fund distributed a ton of bread in Hai Shaiban Pasha in Aleppo province.

In total, the Russian side has organised and carried out 2,056 humanitarian actions, delivering 3,247.19 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

Twenty-nine civilians including 18 children received first medical aid in the town of al-Salhiyah (Deir ez-Zor province).

In total, 104,687 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), al-Zelaf (Damascus province), Ein-Zat, Talbiseh (Homs province).

8,7 ha of the territory. They found and defused 20 explosive devices.

In total: 1,852.9ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 18,311 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. Efforts taken by the Syrian Arab Republic activate repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons.

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 held no working meetings to discuss rehabilitation of social infrastructure, and creation of environment favourable for returnees.

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