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Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (February 7, 2019)

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 1,084 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 436 people (131 women and 223 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 648 people (194 women and 330 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 126,215 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

52,238 refugees have left Lebanon (15,799 women and 26,560 children), with 31,040 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 14,164 via Talkalakh;

73,977 people (22,219 women and 37,713 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 355,495 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (106,676 women, 181,195 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 30 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 27 people (10 women and 10 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 139,212 people (41,949 women, 69,107 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 1,276,514 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (385,269 women, 647,267 children). Since January 1, 2019, 7,918 IDPs (2,720 women, 3,501 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 (Fafin - one (Aleppo province), Mayadin - two (Deir ez-Zor province), Salamiyah - one (Hama province), Rikimah - one (Homs province)) and a bakery in Salim (al-Suwayda province) and a power station in Dail (Daraa province).

They assessed  the social infrastructure and facilities, housing fund, amount of construction materials available in Kafr-Shams and Semlin (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:

Kafr-Shams  - a grader, a dump truck, 1,450kg of fishing materials, 22 tons of building bars, 39 windows, 25 cu m of cement, 1,500m of water pipes, 2,000 m of electric cables, 29 cu m of brick to recover eight houses, a school and a power supply station.

Semlin – a dump truck, 25 windows, 12 cu m of brick, 10 cu m tons of cement, 850kg of lime and filling, 11 tons of building bars, 2,900m of water pipes, 1,200m of electric cables to overhaul five houses, medical post and 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 809 educational organizations have been recovered;

five road bridges and 996 km of roads were recovered (1 km - over the past day);

916km of power line have been installed (2km - over the past day);

588 power substations (one over the past day), 125 water supply facilities, 150 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 2,231 houses, 209 schools, 179 kindergartens, 192 medical centres, 191 bakeries, 207 power substations, 236 water pump stations, and 93 places of worship.

Humanitarian Assistance

Over the past day there have been a humanitarian action in Mahardeh (Hama province) to distribute 500 food sets with a total weight of 2.16 tons.

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

In total, the Russian side has organised and carried out  2,058 humanitarian actions, delivering 3,251.52 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

Units of the Syrian armed forces and Russian force grouping in Syria ensured safe passage of a UN humanitarian convoy delivering 1080 tons of food supplies, medication and non-food goods to the Rukban refugee camp.

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).

3,1 ha of the territory. They found and defused 12 explosive devices.

In total: 1,876.8ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 18,420 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.

The Ministry of Local Administration of the Syrian Arab Republic has allocated 345,000 USD to overhaul Palmyra (Homs province). The money is intended for the repair of street lighting and sewage systems, as well as the removal of damaged structures outside the city.

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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