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Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (May 9, 2019)

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 1,091 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 323 people (97 women and 165 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 768 people (230 women and 392 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 215,341 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

75,437 refugees have left Lebanon (22,779 women and 38,392 children), with 44,944 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 23,459 via Talkalakh;

139,904 people (42,000 women and 71,339 children) have passed via the Nasib CP from Jordan.

According to consolidated information provided by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, as for November 1, 2018 there are still 6,659,752 registered refugees seeking asylum in 45 countries worldwide, with 1,997,926 women and 3,396,474 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 6,330,204 Syrians in these countries: (Turkey - 3,621,330, Lebanon - 944,613, Jordan - 660,393, 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 444,621 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (133,437 women, 226,653 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 25 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 10 people (4 women and 4 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 141,884 people (42,940 women, 70,124 children);

Six people (women - 1, children - 4) and three vehicles returned to the places of permanent residence in Deir ez-Zor province through the checkpoint al-Salhiyah. Since August 25, 2018, in total, 40,993 people (women – 14,091 children 18,751), 2,410 vehicles and 2,299 heads of cattle.

Nine people (women - 3, children - 3), two vehicles returned to the places of permanent residence through the Jeleb checkpoint. Since February 19, 2019, in total, 13,717 people (women – 3,718, children - 6,973), 833 vehicles and 4,261 heads of cattle.

Over the past day, no refugees have left the Rukban camp. Since March 23, 2019, in total 11,002 people (women 2,096, children 4,006), 442 vehicles have left the area.

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 1,296,118 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (391,233 women, 656,481 children). Since January 1, 2019, 27,522 IDPs (8,674 women, 12,715 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

Four buildings were recovered over the past day (Yabroud - two (Deir ez-Zor province), Jadduah - two (Hama province), a medical station in Acraba,  a kindergarten in Safsafa and an electrical substation in Shahba (al-Hama province).

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

Buqzata – excavator, a wheeled crane, 3 dump trucks, 20 windows, 17 cu m of brick, 15 cu m of cement, 10 tons of building bars, 1000kg of lime and filling, 700m of water pipes, 2,200m of electric cables to overhaul five houses, a bakery and a power supply station;

Abu Kemal – a dump truck, an excavator, a wheeled crane, 25 windows, 10 cu m of brick, 10 cu m of cement, 6 tons of building bars, 700kg of lime and filling, 800m of water pipes, 1,050m of electric cables, to overhaul six houses, a hospital 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:

164 medical and 850 educational organizations (one over the past day) have been recovered;

five road bridges and 1,040.2 km of roads were recovered (0.3 km - over the past day);

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

636 power substations (one over the past day), 410 water supply facilities, 184 bakeries, 14,305 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 2,419 houses, 218 schools, 169 kindergartens, 202 bakeries, 249 water pump stations, 205 power substations, 202 medical centres, and 93 places of worship.

Humanitarian Assistance

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

In total, the Russian side has organised and carried out  2,110 humanitarian actions, delivering 3,360.03 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

Four civilians including two children received first medical aid in the town of al-Salhiyah (Deir ez-Zor province).

In total, 105,021 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), Nafa (Damascus province).

2.2 ha of the territory. They found and defused 35 explosive devices.

In total: 2,109.2ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 20,995 explosive devices including 5,388 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 Mazlum with the Head of local administration to discuss infrastructure rehabilitation;

with the Head of Aleppo city Security Committee on situation in the province.

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