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

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

It announced that some 603,000 people have returned to their cities and villages, in what that IOM said was the largest wave of returning refugees.

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.

Most of those going home - 84 percent - were displaced within Syria. "The places to where people are returning are not equipped to deal with them". It said an estimated two-thirds have returned to Aleppo Governorate.

According to the IOM, 27% of respondents said they were returning to protect their property and 25% claimed the economy improved in their area.

Last year, half of all returns were to the Aleppo, and the same holds true this year: 405,420 individuals returned to Aleppo Governorate, 27,620 to Idleb Governorate, 75,209 to Hama Governorate, 45,300 to Ar-Raqqa Governorate, 21,346 to rural Damascus and 27,861 to other governorates. The rest are either with hosts, squatting in abandoned houses, in informal refugee settlements, or renting.

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While the majority of returnees are able to return to their own secure housing, many still face poor access to clean water, health services, and food due to the massive destruction of basic infrastructure that has taken place.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is warning people against returning prematurely to war-torn Syria as the number of displaced going back to their homes reaches a record high.

IOM spokeswoman Olivia Haedon said most of the returns are spontaneous, but not necessarily voluntary, safe or sustainable.

The report indicates that an increasing number of Syrians displaced within the country appear to be returning home. "As you noted, in the number of people who were displaced this year, which is over 800,000, some people are being displaced for the second or third time".

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.

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