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

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 823 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 112 people (32 women and 53 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 711 people (194 women and 330 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 152,157 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

58,475 refugees have left Lebanon (17,676 women and 29,741 children), with 34,780 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 16,661 via Talkalakh;

93,682 people (28,130 women and 47,763 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 381,437 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (114,464 women, 194,426 children).

Twelve 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 113 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 37 people (12 women and 16 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 140,368 people (42,353 women, 69,577 children);

24 people (women - 6, children - 7) and 5 vehicle returned to the places of permanent residence in Deir ez-Zor province through the checkpoint al-Salhiyah. Since August 25, 2018, in total, 39,804 people (women – 13,638 children 18,281), 2,233 vehicles and 2,270 heads of cattle.

52 people (women - 11, children - 18), 9 vehicles and 50 heads of cattle returned to the places of permanent residence through the Jleb checkpoint. Since February 19, 2019, in total, 838 people (women – 202, children 425), 74 vehicles and 327 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 1,280,534 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (386,683 women, 648,923 children). Since January 1, 2019, 11,938 IDPs (4,124 women, 5,157 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 (Gafira (al-Suwayda province) - two, Hveit (Hama province) - two, Nafa (al-Quneitra province) - one) a medical centre in Jebab (Daraa province) and a power station in Haraq (Daraa province).

They assessed  the social infrastructure and facilities, housing fund, amount of construction materials available in Douma (Damascus province), and Salamiyah (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:

Douma – a dump truck, a mobile drilling unit, 13 windows, 18 cu m of brick, 11 cu m of cement, 5 tons of building bars, 1,100kg of lime and filling, 2,700m of water pipes, 1,300m of electric cables, to overhaul four houses, a medical centre and a water well;

Salamiyah – an excavator, two dump trucks, 23 windows, 12 cu m of brick, 25 cu m of cement, 13 tons of building bars, 1,400 kg of lime and filling, 1,200m of water pipes, 1,600m of electric cables, to overhaul five houses and a medical centre.

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:

144 medical (one over the past day) and 823 educational organizations have been recovered;

five road bridges and 1,016.8 km of roads were recovered (0.3km - over the past day);

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

605 power substations (one over the past day), 130 water supply facilities, 162 bakeries, 14,260 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 2,303 houses, 208 schools, 172 kindergartens, 200 medical centres, 191 bakeries, 204 power substations, 242 water pump stations, and 93 places of worship.

Humanitarian Assistance

Over the past day there have been a humanitarian action in Haffa (Latakia province) to distribute 500 food sets with a total weight of 2.17 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  2,077 humanitarian actions, delivering 3,292.64 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, 104,859 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).

2,6 ha of the territory. They found and defused 36 explosive devices.

In total: 1,942.9ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 19,100 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.

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 the Head of Aleppo city Security Committee on issue of consideration of citizens appeals;

in Aleppo with the commission on amnesty of deserters from the Syrian Arab Army, during which the issues of amnesty of citizens who voluntarily laid down arms were considered.

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