With the arrival of winter, calls for assistance to Syrian refugees, whether financial or material, such as clothes or blankets, have been circulated. I also heard the same plea on the radio recently. But I started to wonder why are there still Syrian refugees living in tents and why are they still abroad? Why don’t they return to their homeland and rebuild their houses? At least the money given to them by individuals or charities will be beneficial.
Syrian refugees are citizens who fled from Syria as the Syrian crisis escalated with the entry of terrorist militias. The number of Syrian refugees abroad is estimated at 7.5 million, while the number of internally-displaced persons in Syria is over six million. Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees, followed by Jordan and Lebanon.
The Syrian refugee crisis is one of the longest and most complex humanitarian emergencies ongoing since 2011, and the vast majority of refugees from Syria have found shelter in host communities in neighboring countries. Germany was one of the first Western countries that welcomed Syrians. We are not in the past and I believe I am not the only one who thinks why are there still Syrian refugees abroad. Isn’t it time to go home?
Many major countries are trying to find a solution to this situation now. A new report said Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the situation of Syria over the phone. During the call, both sides stressed the importance of resolving humanitarian problems, including the return of refugees.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan has also made many statements on the safety and security of refugees. In Jan 2019, a meeting of the Arab Development Summit in Beirut called for redoubling efforts to promote conditions conducive to the return of refugees to their country.
I believe that it is time to close this file with the return of those citizens to their country, and money should be given under specific guidance through the United Nations and international organizations to ensure that no donation or funds fall into the wrong hands. I think we have to be fair to all host nations because these countries that are hosting Syrian refugees have economic problems and they have priorities towards their citizens.
So keeping the issue of refugees unsolved will increase social tension and the host communities are also likely to put pressure on their governments. Some newspapers have reported that some refugees are afraid to return home because of security concerns.
I agree that providing security for returning refugees is important. When the fighting stops, the reconstruction process will not be easy or simple or happen overnight. But staying out of the country is not the answer, especially after the return of stability to the homeland. This issue needs closure.
By Muna Al-Fuzai