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Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (April 8, 2019)

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 971 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 314 people (94 women and 160 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 657 people (197 women and 335 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 181,670 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

64,662 refugees have left Lebanon (19,542 women and 32,898 children), with 38,480 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 19,148 via Talkalakh;

117,008 people (35,129 women and 59,662 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 6,696,131 registered refugees seeking asylum in 45 countries worldwide, with 2,000,839 women and 3,415,027 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 6,366,583 Syrians in these countries: (Turkey - 3,646,889, Lebanon - 946,291, Jordan - 670,238, Germany - 534,011, Egypt - 132,165, Iraq - 253,085, 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 410,950 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (123,329 women, 209,482 children).

Eleven 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 501 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 26 people (9 women and 12 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 141,430 people (42,773 women, 69,957 children);

16 people (women - 4, children - 10) and five vehicles returned to the places of permanent residence in Deir ez-Zor province through the checkpoint al-Salhiyah. Since August 25, 2018, in total, 40,679 people (women – 14,011 children 18,569), 2,353 vehicles and 2,299 heads of cattle.

458 people (women - 140, children - 214), 17 vehicles and 47 heads of cattle returned to the places of permanent residence through the Jeleb checkpoint. Since February 19, 2019, in total, 3,959 people (women – 962, children - 1,888), 343 vehicles and 3,525 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 1,285,592 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (388,230 women, 651,047 children). Since January 1, 2019, 16,996 IDPs (5,671 women, 7,281 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

Three buildings were recovered over the past day (Jazar (Homs province) - one, al-Gawi (Hama province) - two), a school in Deir-Atiya (Damascus province), a bakery in Dumeyr (Damascus province) and a power station in Shahba (al-Suwayda province).

They assessed  the social infrastructure and facilities, housing fund, amount of construction materials available in Ammurin (Hama province), and Munbateh (Aleppo province). In order to improve living conditions for Syrians, and to complete infrastructure rehabilitation  it is necessary to supply materials in the following towns:

Ammurin - a tractor, a dump truck, 750kg of finishing materials, 9 cu m of brick, 19 windows, 4,000m of water pipes, 4,000 of electric cables, 10 tons of building bars, 8 cu m of cement to recover six houses, a water pump station and a power supply station;

Munbate – a dump truck, 11 windows, 3 cu m of bricks, 2 cu m of cement, 1 ton of building bars, 350kg of lime and filling, 800m of water pipes, 900m of electric cables, to overhaul four houses;

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:

841 medical (one over the past day) and 153 educational organizations have been recovered;

five road bridges and 1,029 km of roads were recovered (0.5km - over the past day);

950.1km of power line have been installed (0.3 km - over the past day);

624 power substations (one over the past day), 135 water supply facilities, 176 bakeries (one over the past day), 14,263 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 2,363 houses, 213 schools, 170 kindergartens, 199 bakeries, 246 water pump stations, 205 power substations, 203 medical centres, and 93 places of worship.

Humanitarian Assistance

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

Besides, the Kadyrov Regional Public Fund distributed 200 sets of women clothes in Aleppo city.

In total, the Russian side has organised and carried out  2,094 humanitarian actions,  delivering 3,329.45 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

No civilians received first medical aid in the towns of al-Salhiyah (Deir ez-Zor province).

In total, 104,907 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 Eyn-Zat, Talbiseh (Homs province), Jasim, al-Khara, Kafr-Shams, Inkhil (al-Quneitra province), Douma (Damascus province).

2,4 ha of the territory. They found and defused 23 explosive devices.

In total: 2,030.6ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 20,047 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:

in Damascus with Local Administration Minister Aide to discuss issues concerning accomodation of refugees;

in Aleppo with the chairman of the Harmony and Social Stabilization Committee in Idlib demilitarized zone to discuss situation and ceasefire regime observation in the de-militarized zone.

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