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Security concerns, Covid cause fewer refugees' return to Syria

Damascus, Jan 3 (IANS) The number of Syrian refugees returning to their homeland from Jordan has fallen significantly due to unstable security situations and the Covid-19 pandemic, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said.

Some 5,500 Syrian refugees returned to their country in 2021 from Jordan, Dominik Bartsch, the UNHCR Representative to Jordan, said in a report published Sunday by Jordan's state-owned Al-Mamlaka TV.

He added that their return was voluntary, reports xinhua news agency.

The UN official said polls conducted by the UNHCR indicated that most refugees in Jordan expected to return to their country, while they were unable to fulfil it due to the unstable security conditions and other reasons in Syria.

According to UNHCR, Jordan is the world's second-largest refugee host country per capita, with 759,745 refugees, including 672,599 Syrian refugees, and 66,386 Iraqi refugees.

Approximately 80 per cent of them live outside camps, while 128,000 have found sanctuary in refugee camps such as Za'atari and Azraq.

While the government claims there are 1.3 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, the UNHCR estimates that half of them are not registered with the organisation.