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Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (May 15, 2019)

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 999 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 307 people (92 women and 157 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 692 people (208 women and 353 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 223,847 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

78,150 refugees have left Lebanon (23,592 women and 39,775 children), with 46,572 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 24,544 via Talkalakh;

145,697 people (43,738 women and 74,294 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 453,127 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (135,688 women, 230,481 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 19 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 11 people (3 women and 4 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 141,965 people (42,918 women, 70,090 children);

No people to the places of permanent residence in Deir ez-Zor province through the checkpoint al-Salhiyah. Since August 25, 2018, in total, 41,023 people (women – 14,100 children 18,767), 2,410 vehicles and 2,299 heads of cattle.

Eight people (women - 1, children - 2), four vehicles and 25 heads of cattle returned to the places of permanent residence through the Jeleb checkpoint. Since February 19, 2019, in total, 15,119 people (women – 4,124, children 7,589), 913 vehicles and 4,381 heads of cattle.

Over the past day, no refugees have left the Rukban camp. Since March 23, 2019, in total 12,292 people (women 3,453, children 6,334), 500 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 1,297,631 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (391,233 women, 656,481 children). Since January 1, 2019, 29,035 IDPs (8,674 women, 12,715 children).

Cities and Towns Ready to Receive Refugees

There are 1,502,650 places arranged to receive and accommodate refugees in 413 settlements less affected by the combat actions.

Infrastructure Rehabilitation

Five buildings were recovered over the past day (Tafas- one (Daraa province), Rikamah - two (Homs province), Madan Atiq - two (Deir ez-Zor province)) and a bakery in Tair Maala  (Homs province).

They assessed  the social infrastructure and facilities, housing fund, amount of construction materials available in al-Ramleh (Hama province) and Fajdan (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:

Al-Ramleh – an excavator, 12 windows, 4 cu m of bricks, 3 cu m of cement, 3 tons of building bars, 200kg of lime and filling, 1,000m of water pipes, 800m of electric cables, to overhaul five houses;

Fajfan – a dump truck, a tractor, 8 cu m of brick, 9 cu m of cement, 15 tons of building bars, 950kg of lime and filling, 1,500m of water pipes, 1,600m of electric cables to overhaul an water intake station, power supply station and a bakery.

The Industrial Chamber of Latakia province announced the commencement of work on the expansion of four industrial zones in the regions of the administrative centre and in Jebla (20 km south-east of Latakia). The project involves the construction of several new enterprises for the production of chemical, food and engineering products. For these purposes allocated 4 million US dollars.

. .

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:

165 medical and 852 educational organizations have been recovered;

five road bridges and 1,042.7 km of roads were recovered (0.3km - over the past day);

964.1 km of power line have been installed (0.2 km - over the past day);

639 power substations, 141 water supply facilities, 190 bakeries (one over the past day), 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 2,443 houses, 219 schools, 169 kindergartens, 199 bakeries, 248 water pump stations, 205 power substations, 204 medical centres, and 93 places of worship.

Humanitarian Assistance

Over the past day there were three humanitarian actions to distribute 4,33 tons of food supplies.

People in Ard al-Djaburin, Homs province, received 500 food sets with a total weight of 2.165 tons.

People in Zama, Latakia province, received 500 food sets with a total weight of 2.165 tons.

. In total, the Russian side has organised and carried out  2,115 humanitarian actions, delivering 3,370.86 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

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

In total, 105,055 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 107 explosive devices.

In total: 2,126.1ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 21,387 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 and Refugee Migration Monitoring held three working meetings:

in Damascus with chief of the military police of the Syrian Arab Army to discuss situation in southern provinces;

in Damascus with chief of the military police of the Syrian Arab Army to discuss situation in the province;

in Aleppo with Deputy Governor to discuss rehabilitation social infrastructure;

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