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

Smoke billows in Raqa’s western al Darya neighbourhood on Monday as Syrian Democratic Forces a US-backed Kurdish Arab alliance battle to retake the city from the Islamic State group

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

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.

An IOM report found more than 600,000 displaced Syrians have returned home in the first seven months of this year, almost as many as the total number of returnees for all of 2016.

The report says that 84 per cent of those who returned home were IDPs inside Syria and the remaining 16 percent returned from Turkey, followed by Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. It said an estimated two-thirds have returned to Aleppo Governorate.

While the rate of return for those displaced by the war is steadily increasing, the IOM notes that there are still high rates of displacement in many areas of the country. Hama Governorate has recieved the second highest number of returnees, with 75,209 individuals resettling in their homes.

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

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About 67 percent of the returns this year have been to Aleppo province - where the rebel-held eastern part of the city was retaken by the Syrian government in December - IOM said.

Reports also find that 97 per cent returned to their own house, 1.8 per cent are living with hosts, 1.4 per cent in abandoned houses, 0.14 per cent in informal settlements and 0.03 per cent in rented accommodation.

Access of returnees to food and household items is 83 per cent and 80 per cent respectively.

In all, more than 6 million people now remain displaced within Syria. There are over 6 million people displaced within the country.

The migration agency says that their returns "have mainly been spontaneous but not necessarily voluntary, safe or sustainable", adding that "they can not, at present, be considered within the context of a durable solutions framework". As such, they can not, at present, be considered a durable solution.

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