United Nations agency: Over 600000 displaced Syrians returned home so far this year

Leslie Hanson
August 13, 2017

Between January and July, more than 600,000 displaced Syrians returned home, the United Nations migration agency IOM said Friday, while cautioning that towns and cities are not able to deal with such numbers.

Well over half, approximately 67 percent, of the returning refugees have been to the Aleppo Governorate, where an estimated 405,420 individuals have been registered by the IOM as having returned.

The report said most of the people returning to their homes, 84 percent, are internally displaced, while 16 percent are returning refugees from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

"They are going back with the hope that they can stay to protect their property and engage in a better, improved economic situation, or, protect themselves if they are leaving because of the area that they were living was less secure than the place that they originated from", she said. The report shows that similar trends have been observed in 2017. Backed with Russian support in a successful offensive to retake the city, the city was returned to Syrian Government control in December 2016 after having previously been under control of the armed opposition. Access to water (41 per cent) and health services (39 per cent) is dangerously low as the country's infrastructure has been extremely damaged by the conflict. Others returned to such places as Idleb, Hama, Raqqa provinces and the Damascus countryside.

They poll also revealed that 97% returned to their own homes.

However, it's worth noting that the rate of new displacements during the beginning of this year was significantly higher than the number of returns. They estimate that during the same period of time, from January to July of 2017, 808,661 Syrians were displaced.

IDP returns have mainly been spontaneous but not necessarily voluntary, safe or sustainable.

These data have been collected by IOM's implementing partners, who use a set of tools and methods to identify, assess and monitor different population categories throughout Syria, in relation to needs and mobility dynamics at a community level.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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