12 Aug, GENEVA – Between January and July, more than 600,000 displaced Syrians returned home, the UN migration agency IOM said Friday, while cautioning that towns and cities are not able to deal with such numbers.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM)spokesperson Olivia Headon said the 602,759 returned between January and July, which is looking to exceed the 2016 tally of 685,662, but it were less that the 809,661 displaced this year.
“Syria is not safe,” Headon said at a UN media briefing. “The places to where people are returning are not equipped to deal with them.”
IOM said that it found with its partners the vast majority of the people returning (84 percent) had been displaced within Syria and more than 90 percent went back to their homes.
The next highest number of people (16 percent) returned from Turkey, followed by Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Refugees returning from Turkey and Jordan reportedly returned mainly to Aleppo and Al Hasakeh governorates.
“An estimated 27 percent of the returnees stated that they did so to protect their assets or properties and 25 percent referred to the improved economic situation in their area of origin,” said Headon.
Other factors people gave IOM and partners as their reasons for returning included the worsening economic situation in the place where they were seeking refuge (14 percent).
There were also social or cultural issues such as tribal links, political affiliations or any obstacle preventing integration in their area of displacement (11 percent), and the improvement of the security situation in their area of return (11 percent). Enditem