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Around 8,000 Syrian refugees return home in 2017

By Mohammad Ghazal - Feb 07,2018 - Last updated at Feb 07,2018

AMMAN — The total number of refugees returning to Syria from Jordan in 2017 reached 8,037 and over half of those returned in the three months following the  July 9 ceasefire in southwest Syria, according to the UNHCR.

In December, a total of 375 refugees voluntarily returned to Syria from Jordan maintaining the down trend from previous months – November (421) October (951), September (1,484), August (1,633) July (1,061), Olga Sarrado Mur, associate external relations officer at UNHCR, told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

“In absolute figures, we are still talking about very small numbers when compared to the total registered Syrian refugee population in Jordan 656,692,” she added.

When asked about the main reason for leaving Jordan and returning to their country, she said the vast majority of refugees returning to Syria mentioned family reunification as the main drive behind the decision, followed by economic pressure including lack of income-generating activities, living costs in urban areas and limited access to assistance.

“UNHCR considers that conditions for refugees to return in safety and dignity are not yet in place in Syria, and hence neither facilitates nor promotes returns,” she said, adding that there remain significant risks for civilians inside Syria.

UNHCR counsels refugees accordingly to allow for informed decision making, she said.

In July last year, Jordan, the US and Russia agreed that the ceasefire aims at permanently de-escalating the tension in southern Syria, ending acts of hostility, restoring stability and allowing free access of humanitarian aid for this key area in Syria.

According to official figures, the overall number of registered and unregistered Syrian refugees in the Kingdom stands at about 1.3 million.



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