• In September, WFP reached more than 3.2 million refugees – out of a total of 5.6 million registered Syrian refugees – and host community members across Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey through various food and cash-based assistance programmes under the Country Strategic Plan (CSPs) in Egypt and Lebanon, and Transitional Interim CSPs in the three countries.
• Self-organized refugee returns verified by UNHCR in 2018 totalled 28,251 as of September 2018. Results from UNHCR return intention surveys showed that voluntary repatriation in safety and dignity remains the preferred durable solution for Syrian refugees in the region.
• As of September 2018, there are around 5.6 million refugees from Syria in the neighbouring countries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.
• According to UNHCR’s Return Perception and Intention Surveys conducted in 2018, 76 percent of Syrian refugees hoped to return to Syria one day, up from 51 percent in 2017, while 19 percent noted that they do not want to come back.
Voluntary repatriation in safety and dignity remains the preferred durable solution for Syrian refugees in the region.
• The Nasib border crossing between Syria and Jordan is slated to open on 10 October, with logistics preparations under way for the re-opening. The border crossing, which was closed off in 2015, when it fell to Syrian opposition factions, will soon begin to receive the movement of trucks and transit to and from Syria. Previous media reports also said that the crossing is ready to receive Syrian refugees’ returning from Jordan.
• Under Lebanon’s general security arrangement and in coordination with UNHCR, a total of 1,483 Syrian refugees returned to Syria from Arsenal, crossing the border through Zamrani, and by bus through Aboudieh and Masnaa.
• Following talks between presidents Putin and Erdoğan, Russia and Turkey agreed to establish a de-militarised 'buffer zone' in Idleb province, where Turkey has established 12 observation points.
• The annual inflation rate increased to 15.9 percent in July and to 17.9 percent in August 2018. The steep increases have affected the off-camp Minimum Expenditure Basket costs; the basic cost of living for a refugee has increased from TRY 295 per person per month in June 2018 to TRY 305.8 in August.
The Turkish lira may continue to be volatile through the fourth quarter with consequent likely continued inflation; this raises particular concerns for energy prices, given higher rates of consumption in cold months.