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Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (February 5, 2019)

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 1,038 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 406 people (122 women and 207 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 632 people (190 women and 322 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 124,067 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

51,410 refugees have left Lebanon (15,550 women and 26,137 children), with 30,543 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 13,833 via Talkalakh;

72,657 people (21,823 women and 37,040 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, Iraq - 252,526, Egypt - 132,553, 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 353,347 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (106,031 women, 180,099 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 32 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 32 people (10 women and 14 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 139,152 people (41,919 women, 69,071 children);

no people returned back to the places of permanent residence in Deir ez-Zor, Damascus and Homs provinces through the checkpoint al-Salhiyah. Since August 25, 2018, in total, 37,778 people (women – 12,836 children 17,527), 2,167 vehicles and 2,260 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 1,276,454 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (385,249 women, 647,245 children). Since January 1, 2019, 7,858 IDPs (2,680 women, 3,465 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: Six buildings were recovered over the past day (Mardak (al-Suwayda province) - two, al-Djadjiya (Hama province) - two, Qauqab (Hama province) - two), a power station in Aleppo as well as a bakery in al-Husainiyah (Deir ez-Zor province) and a school in Tall Bisa (Homs province).

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

Rafid – an excavator, a dump truck, 39 windows, 18 cu m of brick, 21 cu m of cement, 17 tons of building bars, 1,720kg of lime and filling, 1,870m of water pipes, 1,390m of electric cables to overhaul seven houses and a water pump station;

Saqba – three dump trucks, q wheeled crane, 45 windows, 24cu m of brick, 25 cu m of cement, 28 tons of building bars, 2,400kg of lime and filling, 2,100m of water pipes, 3,700m of electric cables, to overhaul 12 houses and a 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:

136 medical and 808 educational organizations (one over the past day) have been recovered;

five road bridges and 994 km of roads were recovered (1 km - over the past day);

913km of power line have been installed (1 km - over the past day);

586 power substations (one over the past day), 125 water supply facilities, 149 bakeries (one over the past day), 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 2,212 houses, 209 schools, 179 kindergartens, 193 bakeries, 234 water pump stations, 208 power substations, 191 medical centres, and 93 places of worship.

Humanitarian Assistance

Besides, the Kadyrov Regional Public Fund distributed a ton of bread in Aleppo city.

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.

In total, 104,713 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).

8,5 ha of the territory. They found and defused 26 explosive devices.

In total: 1,870 ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 18,397 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.

The SAR government has developed a comprehensive anti-smuggling plan. The measures outlined in the document are aimed to protect the main sectors of the national economy from damage caused by duty-free importation of goods from abroad, uncontrolled export from the country of raw materials and foreign currency.

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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 two working meetings:

with Deir ez-Zor administration to discuss improvement of the border crossing;

with the Harba and Jabeb  administration on the issues of the return of refugees to their places of permanent residence in Eastern Ghouta.

In addition, monitoring of vital activity, social situation and provision of basic necessities of temporarily displaced persons in the refugee centers Mahardah and Taum (Hama province) and Mazlum (Deir ez-Zor province) was conducted.

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