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Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (July 18, 2019)

Return of Refugees from abroad

Over the past day, in total 1,483 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 352 people (105 women and 180 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 1,131 people (201 women and 342 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.

Since July 18, 2018, in total 311,579 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:

102,268 refugees have left Lebanon (18,602 women and 31,303 children), with 61,040 of them - via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 34,194 via Talkalakh;

209,311 people (61,827 women and 106,736 children) have passed via the Nasib CP from Jordan.

According to consolidated information provided by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, as for June 3, 2019 there are still 6,647,187 registered refugees seeking asylum in 45 countries worldwide, with 1,994,156 women and 3,390,065 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 6,317,503 Syrians in these countries: (Turkey - 3,614,108, Lebanon - 935,454, Jordan - 664,330, 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 540,859 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (120,047 women, 203,908 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);

four in the Syrian Arab Republic (Abu-al-Dukhur, al-Salhiyah, Jleb, Suran);

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 two Syrians returned back to:

No people to the Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province); Since September 30, 2015 – 142,104 people (42,540 women, 69,755 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, 41,115 people (women – 14,100 children 18,767), 2,418 vehicles and 2,299 heads of cattle.

Two people, 2 vehicles returned to the places of permanent residence through the Jeleb checkpoint. Since February 19, 2019, in total, 19,649 people (women – 5,317, children 9,461), 1,247 vehicles and 4,851 heads of cattle.

Over the past day, no refugees have left the Rukban camp. Since March 23, 2019, in total 16,616 people (women 4,624, children 6,334), 748 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 1,302,392 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (388,230 women, 651,047 children). Since January 1, 2019, 33,796 IDPs (5,671 women, 7,281 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

Over the past day: Six buildings were recovered over the past day (Quequs - three (al-Quneitra province), Hatlah - three (Deir ez-Zor province)) and a bakery in Bosra-al-Sham (Daraa province) and an industrial enterprise in Beyt-Adra (Damascus province).

They assessed  the social infrastructure and facilities, housing fund, amount of construction materials available in Arak (Homs province), and Rusheida (al-Suwayda province). In order to improve living conditions for Syrians, and to complete infrastructure rehabilitation  it is necessary to supply materials in the following towns:

Arak –  a dump truck, 11 windows, 9 cu m of brick, 6 cu m of cement, 5 tons of building bars, 500kg of lime and filling, 400m of water pipes, 500m of electric cables, to overhaul eight houses, and a medical centre;

Rusheida –  a excavator, 17 windows, 7 cu m of brick, 7 cu m of cement, 9 tons of building bars, 550kg of lime and filling, 300m of water pipes, 500m of electric cables, to overhaul four houses, a school and a medical centre.

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:

180 medical and 876 educational organizations have been recovered;

five road bridges and 1,071.4 km of roads were recovered (0.4 km - over the past day);

990.2 km of power line have been installed (0.5km - over the past day);

688 power substations, 155 water supply facilities, 220 bakeries (one over the past day), 14,421 industrial enterprises (one over the past day) 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 2,549 houses, 221 schools, 165 kindergartens, 214 medical centres, 191 bakeries, 208 power substations, 252 water pump stations, and 93 places of worship.

Humanitarian Assistance

Over the past day there have been a humanitarian action in Aleppo to distribute 500 food sets with a total weight of 2.42 tons.

Besides, the Kadyrov Regional Public Fund distributed a ton of bread in Aleppo city.

In total, the Russian side has organised and carried out  2,165 humanitarian actions, delivering 3,488.66 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.

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

In total, 105,505 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 ha of the territory. They found and defused 35 explosive devices.

In total: 2,285.5ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 273.4km of roads. They found and defused 23,723 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 the head of the General Sports Committee of the Syrian Arab Republic, in order to organize a friendly football match;

In Damascus with the Head of State Mukhabarat to discuss humanitarian assistance, rehabilitation of infrastructure, and creation of conditions for refugees;

in Aleppo with the Head of the Water Supply Department in order to work out the issue of restoring the functioning of the water supply station al-Bab.

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