Acute bread shortage in regime-controlled areas | Damascus starving, as government keeps mishandling the crisis
The historic capital, Damascus, and all provinces under the control of the Syrian regime are experiencing a growing bread crisis, as regime authorities are unable to find proper solution to the most stifling crisis ever in Syria. According to SOHR sources, the Syrian regime authorities have shrunk the amounts of flour allocated to bread bakeries in eastern Ghouta in the past two days, which forced the bakeries to close after only few hours of work.
In connection to this, bread bakeries throughout Syria are suffering from the same crisis, along with the ongoing fuel crisis in gas stations. Residents are forced to buy petrol from the duty free stores for 1,200 SYL per litre, while state-subsidized petrol is sold in gas stations for 450 SYL per litre. However, it is only sold in finite amounts via smart cards.
In September 2020, bread bakeries in Latakia, Damascus and Rif Dimashq provinces started selling bread via smart cards, since every family could get their bread allocation every two days, according to the number of a family members. In accordance with the decree issued by the “Council of Ministers” of the Syrian regime’s government, state-subsidized bread is distributed via smart card as follows:
- One pack for each family of one to two members.
- Two packs for each family of three to four members.
- Three packs for each family of five to six members.
- Four packs for each family of more than six members.
A civilian woman known by her initials as M.M. from Damascus talked to SOHR about her arduous experience in “Ibn al-Amid” bread bakeries ”Rukn Al-Din” neighbourhood in Damascus, saying “I got out of my home on Monday at 2:00 pm heading to ‘Ibn al-Amid’ bread bakery where I saw nearly 500 people, mostly women, awaiting in long queues in order to get their bread allocations.”
“Young people were trading swear words and fighting over priority to get bread, disregarding the women standing nearby. Meanwhile, women were talking about the deteriorating situations in Syria, as one of them said that if she could leave Syria, she would not stay for one more moment,” the woman added.
“I had to wait in the line for nearly four consecutive hours, but when my turn approached, a worker in the bakery said that the flour ran out and that we had to come in the following day,” said the woman who returned to her home at that day empty-handed. Furthermore, some children and young men have slept in front of the bakeries to make sure that they would get their bread in to next day.