المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

In light of the adoption of multiple currencies | Meat and vegetables are unaffordable for families in north-western Syria

The areas of north-western Syria are witnessing a decline in the demand for meat and many vegetables in the northern countryside of Idlib, especially by displaced families, the majority of whom live in camps, due to poor financial and living conditions, lack of job opportunities, lack of assistance and population density in northern Syria.

Earlier, the Turkish lira was adopted instead of the Syrian national currency, which led to a rise in prices, at least by currency exchange rates.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has monitored the prices of many of these commodities in Idlib city and its countryside, which are sold in Turkish lira, during the month of January of this year 2021. Here is a list of prices of some commodities:

  • Lamb 40 TL
  • Chicken meat 12 TL
  • Beef 34 TL
  • Vegetable oil 7 TL
  • Olive oil 7 TL
  • Sugar 4 TL
  • Rice 7 TL
  • Eggs 8 TL
  • Lentils 5 TL
  • Tomatoes 2 TL
  • Courgette 2 TL
  • Cucumber 1 TL
  • Potatoes 1.50 TL
  • Eggplant 1 TL
  • Lemon 9 TL
  • Peppers 2
  • Beans 1.50 TL
  • Garlic 9 TL
  • Carrots 1.50 TL
  • Green onions 2 TL
  • Apples 3 TL
  • Bananas 6 TL
  • Peaches 4.50 TL
  • Cherry 6.50 TL
  • Bread 2 TL

Meanwhile, the exchange rate of the Syrian pound against Turkish lira has reached 395, while the exchange rate of the Syrian pound against the U.S. dollar reached 2,930.

A displaced person from the western countryside of Hama, who lives now in al-Khalifa camp in the town of Armanaz in northern Idlib countryside, speaks to the Syrian Observatory about his suffering because of his inability to buy many food items: “For more than 15 days, my children have not eaten vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini and potatoes, and meat has become just a dream for many displaced Syrian families in the displacement camps here”.

“We rely on the availability of certain materials such as bulgur, rice, lentils and chickpeas, which are usually found within the food baskets that are provided to families in this camp from time to time and in small quantities as well. Everyone suffers poverty in general and only few can afford buying vegetables and meat for their home or tent”.

He added “There are many reasons for this situation that we are living in, the most important of which is the lack of job opportunities for young people and the displacement that has caused the loss of livelihoods in addition to the burden of displacement, which has created an extreme poverty in many families, and their inability to buy different types of vegetables and fruits, as their prices rise continuously. One meal for the average family may cost approximately 20 TL, equivalent to 7,000 Syrian pounds.”

An activist who lives in the town of Kafr Takhareem in northern Idlib countryside speaks to the Syrian Observatory: “The recent events in Idlib areas and its countryside and the large displacement movement contributed to the narrowing of agricultural areas significantly and is now limited to a few areas, causing a decline in the quantity of many types of vegetables and fruits in the markets and the rise in prices. In addition to the receding interest in in livestock, deterioration of the Syrian pound’s value against the dollar and many other factors that caused this crisis, which made it difficult for many Syrian families to secure these materials”.

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