Syrians are starting to return home, according to a new report from the International Organization for Migration.
The figure covers the first seven month of this year (January-July) and is an increase on the entire amount of displaced Syrians who returned to the country in 2016.
A variety of factors were given, but a slight increase in local stability and a desire to return to property and possessions ranked highly on the list. Most of the Syrians returning home did to in the Aleppo province and surrounding areas.
The report outlined:
“Between January and July 2017, 602,759 displaced Syrians returned home according to reports from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and implementing partners on the ground. Findings indicate that the vast majority of the people returning (84 per cent) had been displaced within Syria. The next highest number of people (16 per cent) returned from Turkey, followed by Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Returnees from Turkey and Jordan reportedly returned mainly to Aleppo and Al Hasakeh Governorates.
An estimated 27 per cent of the returnees stated that they did so to protect their assets or properties and 25 per cent referred to the improved economic situation in their area of origin. 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 per cent), social or cultural issues such as tribal links, political affiliations or any obstacle preventing integration in their area of displacement (11 per cent), and the improvement of the security situation in their area of return (11 per cent).
Half of all returns in 2016 were to Aleppo Governorate. The report shows that similar trends have been observed in 2017. Consequently, an estimated 67 per cent of the returnees returned to Aleppo Governorate (405,420 individuals), 27,620 to Idleb Governorate, and 75,209 to Hama Governorate, 45,300 to Ar-Raqqa Governorate, 21,346 to Rural Damascus and 27,861 to other governorates.”
The BBC have issued a balancing statement, declaring that “the U.N.’s refugee agency recently“started scaling up its operations inside Syria to better address the needs of those returning home,” even as it discourages people from doing so, stressing safety concerns.”
Reports of a failing infrastructural and pockets of rebel forces within some of the cities remain a concern, however, many determined families are making the effort to reclaim their home.
So, while the struggles may not be over for the Syrian people yet, it certainly seems as if things are beginning to move in a more positive direction.