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Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (May 22, 2019)

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 1,021 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 314 people (95 women and 162 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 707 people (253 women and 429 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 230,938 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

80,707 refugees have left Lebanon (24,360 women and 41,079 children), with 48,107 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 25,566 via Talkalakh;

150,231 people (44,099 women and 76,606 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 460,218 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 11 Syrians returned back to:

Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) - 11 people (5 women and 4 children). Since September 30, 2015 – 142,029 people (43,003 women, 70,169 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, 41,029 people (women – 14,100 children 18,767), 2,410 vehicles and 2,299 heads of cattle.

no refugees passed through the Jleb checkpoint (Homs province). Since February 19, 2019, in total, 15,805 people (women – 4,124, children 7,589), 959 vehicles and 4,511 heads of cattle.

Over the past day, no refugees have left the Rukban camp. Since March 23, 2019, in total 12,967 people (women 3,453, children 6,334), 540 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 1,298,387 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (391,233 women, 656,481 children). Since January 1, 2019, 29,791 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

Three buildings have been recovered over the past day (Qarahta (Damascus province) - two, al-Suhne (Homs province) - one), and a power station in Nawa (Daraa province).

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

Jayrud – a wheeled crane, a dump truck, 26 windows, 14 cu m of brick, 16 cu m of cement, 14 tons of building bars, 950kg of lime and filling, 1,500m of water pipes, 1,850m of electric cables to overhaul seven houses and a power supply station;

Smah  – a dump truck, a wheeled crane, 22 windows, 8 cu m of brick, 6 cu m of cement, 8 tons of building bars, 950kg of lime and filling, 18 floor slabs, 900m of water pipes, 650m of electric cables, to overhaul six houses and a medical centre.

Since July 18, 2018, in total, in the Syrian Arab Republic:

167 medical and 855 educational organizations have been recovered;

five road bridges and 1,045.6 km of roads were recovered (0.5 km - over the past day);

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

643 power substations (one over the past day), 142 water supply facilities, 193 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 2,457 houses, 219 schools, 168 kindergartens, 198 bakeries, 247 water pump stations, 206 power substations, 202 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.

In total, the Russian side has organised and carried out  2,118 humanitarian actions, delivering 3,381.65 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

Seven civilians including 4 children received first medical aid in the town of al-Salhiyah (Deir ez-Zor province).

In total, 105,100 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).

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

In total: 2,143.9ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 21,800 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:

with Jebab (Damascus province) administration on the issue of returning dwelling houses to opposition family families;

in Hatlah (Deir ez-Zor province) to discuss granting amnesty to people living on the left shore of the Euphrates;

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