The increase of fuel prices .. specter of a new crisis chases the residents of north Idlib as winter approaches

Fuel is basic material used in most of aspects of everyday life in the areas of the northern countryside of Idlib, where it is relied on to generate electricity, pumping water, running bread furnaces,  in addition to its importance in transporting goods and the markets movement in general.

During the recent few days, the prices of fuel significantly increased, especially gasoline and petrol, this is coincided with the entry of winter of 2019, where the price of a liter of gasoline reached nearly 500 SYL in some areas in the southern countryside of Idlib, while its price ranges in other areas between 400 and 475 SYL, in which a liter of gasoline used to be sold for approximately 375 SYL.

Meanwhile, the price of a liter of petrol reached about 550 SYL, this significant and surprising increase in fuel prices, contributed in putting additional burden over the citizens in the northern countryside of Idlib, mainly those who have been displaced from several Syrian provinces, most of whom live below the poverty line.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights obtained testimony of one of the displaced people of Sahl Al-Ghab area in the western countryside of Hama, who lives now in Kafr Takharim town in the northern countryside of Idlib, in which he talked about the impact that the surprising increase of fuel prices left since late October 2019, where he said “the recent days witnessed significant increase in the prices of fuel, where a gas cylinder is sold for 6700 SYL, a liter of imported gasoline for 500 SYL, and a liter of imported petrol sold for 550 SYL.

This increase placed addition burden, where the number of hours of activating the generators that distribute electricity, used to be 4 hours, from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, but recently, the number of hours of the generators activity reduced to only 2 hours and half.

So also is potable water whose price was increased, where a tanks with capacity of 10 barrels is sold for 3500 SYL, while it used to be sold for 2700 SYL, also the price of most of goods noticeably increased including bread, foodstuffs and supplies, as the bread furnaces run by using fuel.

On another hand the market witnessed noticeable decline in the ratio of civilian consumers, and many citizens abstain from moving by their own cars and motorcycles due to the fuel high prices, some merchants monopolize amounts of fuel to control its price, after the recent spike in the prices of fuel and the acute shortage of it in areas in the northern countryside of Idlib.

On his part, an activist from Al-Hbit and lives currently in Atma area in the northern countryside of Idlib, talked in his testimony to the Syrian Observatory, about some of the reasons that led to increasing the fuel prices, he said “the noticeable increase in the prices of fuel such as petrol, gasoline and gas, is the presence of acute shortage in the amounts of fuel in the markets of the northern countryside of Idlib, as a result of what is going in the areas of east Euphrates and the current events there, where the areas of north Idlib depended on importing fuel from the controlled areas of the Syria Democratic Forces.

Accordingly, the current events resulted in decline of trading, also the interruption of relations and the closure of trading crossings with the regime is considered another factor, while a lot of crises dealers are storing and monopolizing fuel as winter approach, in order to increase their profit, and this happens in full view of parties that are in control of the area, and the citizen remains the only victim of these consequences, and with the entry of winter, solutions must be found to the issue of monopolizing and the creation of a tight control over the crises dealers who contribute in deteriorating the citizens’ material and living situations, we also call upon every relevant body to respond to the urgent need to reduce the prices of fuel as soon as possible.

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