Economic crisis in north-west Idlib | Plummeting Syrian pound, fuel loss and smuggling contribute to prices surge
Commercial markets in HTS-controlled areas are witnessing a significant hike in the prices of food, vegetables and clothes, with the arrival of Eid al-Fitr.
Meat prices have increased due to the ongoing smuggling of cattle to the areas controlled by regime and SDF through areas controlled by Turkish-backed factions in north and east of Aleppo, while the prices of locally produced vegetables and fruits such as “cucumber, zucchini, green plum and cherries”, unlike those imported from Turkey, which has a long list of products, have declined.
Moreover, the price of the bread pack has increased with its different categories “free/subsidized” due to the rise in the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar against the Syrian pound, which has witnessed an unprecedented plummet during the month of Ramadan, as it reached 2000 Syrian pounds against one U.S. dollar.
This has caused the prices of imported materials to increase dramatically, while prices have increased globally due to the coronavirus crisis and the subsequent closure of crossings and the shutdown of some facilities, which has had a negative impact on the north-western regions of Syria.
On the other hand, the fuel crisis continues in northern Syria. The price of heating oil has risen to 1,000 Syrian pounds per liter, while the gas cylinder has risen to more than 12,000 Syrian pounds.
In consequence, many items, such as drinking water and electricity, increased the operational cost of the bakeries and high transport costs and wages, without an oversight over what is happening, as well as greedy traders who took advantage of citizens’ needs.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Economy and Resources of the “Salvation Government” in Idlib, has set the price of one set of “ice cubes”, which are used by the people in the absence of electricity and refrigeration, coinciding with the high temperatures and demand.
The sale price from the factory was set at $1, and from the vendor at $1.45, and violators to be held accountable.
Youth unemployment is widespread in north-western Syria, where there are no factories, facilities or construction work that would absorb existing human capacities.
The regime’s control over large areas of agricultural land has deprived its owners and a large group of young people from working, turning them from producers to consumers in displacement camps.