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Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (March 12, 2019)

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 722 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 87 people (27 women and 45 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 635 people (191 women and 324 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 156,438 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

58,971 refugees have left Lebanon (17,826 women and 29,995 children), with 35,077 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 16,860 via Talkalakh;

97,467 people (29,266 women and 49,694 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 385,718 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (115,750 women, 196,611 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 167 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 42 people (18 women and 12 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 140,546 people (42,430 women, 69,641 children);

31 people (women - 13, children - 11) to the places of permanent residence in Deir ez-Zor province through the checkpoint al-Salhiyah. Since August 25, 2018, in total, 39,925 people (women – 13,697, children 18,332), 2,240 vehicles and 2,271 heads of cattle.

94 people (women - 24, children - 47), nine vehicles and 146 heads of cattle returned to the places of permanent residence through the Jeleb checkpoint. Since February 19, 2019, in total, 1,155 people (women – 280, children 575), 117 vehicles and 638 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 1,281,150 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (386,891 women, 649,181 children). Since January 1, 2019, 12,554 IDPs (4,332 women, 5,415 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 (Salamiyah (Hama province) - two, Ramla (Aleppo province) - one) a bakery in Shin (Homs province) and a power station in al-Garie (al-Suwayda province).

The Minister of Industry of the Syrian Arab Republic inspected the main production facilities of the industrial zone in Hisyah (Homs province), including the Syrian-Iranian car manufacturer Saipa, a steel mill and a chemical industry enterprise. According to the results of the visit, the chairman of the industrial chamber of Homs province and the heads of local companies were instructed to introduce new technologies, increase production rates, improve product quality to international standards, search for and attract foreign investors.

They assessed  the social infrastructure and facilities, housing fund, amount of construction materials available in Tall-Hasel (Aleppo province) and Al-Ghantu (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:

Tall-Hasel –  an excavator, two dump trucks, 16 windows, 7 cu m of brick, 9 cu m of cement, 7 tons of building bars, 350kg of lime and filling, 950m of electric cables, to overhaul five houses and a school;

Al-Ghantu – a dump truck, a wheeled crane, 28 windows, 25 cu m of brick, 23 cu m of cement, 16 tons of building bars, 1,200kg of lime and filling, 1,280m of water pipes, 1,180m of electric cables, to overhaul six houses and a bakery.

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:

146 medical and 825 educational organizations have been recovered;

five road bridges and 1,018.5 km of roads were recovered (0.4km - over the past day);

940km of power line have been installed (0.7 km - over the past day);

606 power substations (one over the past day), 130 water supply facilities, 163 bakeries (one over the past day), 14,262 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 2,313 houses, 210 schools, 172 kindergartens, 192 bakeries, 242 water pump stations, 204 power substations, 199 medical centres, and 93 places of worship.

Humanitarian Assistance

Over the past day there have been a humanitarian action in Al-Meydah (Damascus 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.

The total number of humanitarian actions is 2,080, delivering 3,299.14 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

The Chinese government has transferred 360 sets of computer equipment and office equipment as a humanitarian aid to the authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic. The equipment is planned to be placed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Syrian Planning and International Cooperation Commission.

Two civilians received medical aid in the town of al-Salhiyah (Deir ez-Zor province).

In total, 104,868 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).

3,2 ha of the territory. They found and defused 23 explosive devices.

In total: 1,956.3 ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 19,223 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 four working meetings:

in al-Husainiyah (Deir ez-Zor province) with the Head of local administration to discuss infrastructure rehabilitation;

in Aleppo with the chief of security committee to clarify results of appeals from the branch of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring;

in Aleppo with the director of the Department of Health in order to clarify the order of interaction with the military hospital and the mobile special purpose detachment;

at the Hmeymim Air Base with the head of security of Mukhabarat, on coordinating monitoring sites and clarifying the list of heads of refugee centres.

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