DAMASCUS, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian Higher Committee for Relief (HCR) said Monday that over 4 million out of 6.9 million internally displaced people (IDP) have returned to their areas across Syria in 2018, the state news agency SANA reported.
The HCR, which is supervised by the Ministry of Local Administration and Environment, placed the number of IDPs who have returned to their villages and towns in all Syrian provinces until Dec. 20 at 4.2 million.
It added that the number of IDPs in Syria decreased to 2.9 million.
The HRC said that work is underway to rehabilitate the damaged houses in cooperation with international organizations and NGOs in addition to implementing a number of projects.
In 2018, rehabilitation work covered 7.554 partially damaged houses across the country, said the HRC, adding that 37,000 families have taken advantage of the fixed homes.
The work also saw the rehabilitation of 26 temporary displacement shelters.
According to the HRC, which revealed the statistics and achievements during a meeting held Monday at the Ministry of Local Administration, rehabilitation work also included unfinished buildings that will be used as centers for the displaced people.
The HRC said the people returned to their homes after their areas were cleared from "terrorism."
This comes as Syrian refugees outside the country have started returning mainly from Lebanon and Jordan, given the improved situation in Syria as large swathes of the country have returned under the government's control after the rebels were defeated in key areas.
In 2016, from an estimated pre-war population of 22 million, the UN identified 13.5 million Syrians requiring humanitarian assistance, of which more than 6 million are displaced within Syria and around 5 million are refugees outside Syria.