The number of Syrian nationals entering Syria from Lebanon has been on the rise, as the Syrian authorities waived a requirement for the financially disadvantaged citizens, a Syrian newspaper reported.
Until recently, every Syrian, expatriate or refugee, who wished to return to their country from Lebanon would have to exchange $100 to Syrian currency to be allowed entry by the government.
The Syrian government justified the decision, made in July 2020, with the need to rebuild its foreign currency reserve as it goes through an unprecedented economic crisis.
But Lebanon, too, is going through its worst economic crisis to date, during which the Lebanese pound has lost over 80% of its value against the U.S. dollar. Naturally, this has affected Syrians, Lebanese, and all other nationalities in the country alike.
Recently, however, some Syrian repatriates have been getting exemption from the obligation if they prove to be financially incapable of exchanging $100, an official source told the Syria-based Al-Watan newspaper.
Since then, there has been an increase in Syrian repatriation from Lebanon, estimated at the rate of 400-500 repatriates daily, up to 700 on some days, the source said.
In addition to the $100 exchange exemption, which requires approval from the Syrian Interior Ministry, the increase is attributed to the recent international conference for the return of Syrian refugees, hosted by Damascus, as per the newspaper.
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