Small fraction of refugees intend to return to Syria in next 12 months: UN survey

Small fraction of refugees intend to return to Syria in next 12 months: UN survey

Sizable number of refugees hope to return within 5 years, says annual survey conducted in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt

By Betul Yuruk

UNITED NATIONS (AA) - A small fraction of Syrian refugees intend to return home within the next year because of a lack of work opportunities, safety and security, the UN envoy to Syria said Tuesday, citing a newly published survey.

“Most Syrian refugees still hope to return one day, and the sizable number hope to return within five years,” Geir Pedersen said during a briefing to the UN Security Council. He cited a newly published annual survey with refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR. “Only a small fraction indicated their intention to return in the next 12 months.”

Refugees also cited lack of livelihoods for not returning, and inadequate basic services, military service, border recruitment, fear of arrest, detention, harassment, and retaliation, he said.

“We continue to uphold and further the principle of safe, dignified and momentarily refugee returns,” said Pedersen.

There are 1.9 million Syrian refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon and Türkiye hosts 3.76 million Syrians, according to the UNHCR.

“It is vital that the recent diplomatic moves are met with real action,” he said.

“While they have observed recent diplomatic developments, they have not yet seen any improvement in the reality of their lives, whether they live inside Syria or outside Syria,” he added.

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