Looming humanitarian crisis | Prices of food in regime-held areas increase greatly, along with ongoing currency plunge • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Looming humanitarian crisis | Prices of food in regime-held areas increase greatly, along with ongoing currency plunge

SOHR sources have reported alarming currency plunge in August, as the Syrian pound against the US dollar recorded 3,425 SYL on August 28, after it had recorded 3,285 in early August. Accordingly, the prices of food and essential products have increased greatly.

 

Meanwhile, the residents in regime-held areas have complained of dire living conditions and being unable to afford the living expenses in light of Syrian regime government’s mishandling of the chronic crises and its inability to workable solutions to the economic hardship.

 

In a testimony to SOHR, a civilian from Hama city known by his initials as A.S. talked about the difficulties he faces in order to secure his families’ needs due to the astronomically inflated prices. The man said “my relatives who live abroad send me remittances which help me to secure some of my family basic essentials. I cannot find any job, and I find it so hard to secure my daily needs because of the high prices of essential products which increase on a daily basis. I am the breadwinner of a family of four. When any of my family gets sick, I cannot afford the expenses of medicine. I Hope I will leave to north Syria or any of the countries of asylum, but I do not have enough money to smuggle myself outside regime-held areas.”

 

A.S. added, “I need basic essentials every day, like bread and vegetables. However, I started to rely only on the cheapest vegetables, milk, eggs and canned food. The civilians, jobless people and people with low income in particular, are struggling with catastrophic living conditions, while the situation of civilians who receive aid sent by their relatives who live abroad is better. However, they have to ration expenditure. A day after another, the living situation deteriorates even more in light of regime authorities’ inability to help the residents, secure job opportunities and subsidize prices, at lease the prices of sugar, bread and cooking oil. All of us are so looking for breakthroughs that may put an end to our sufferings.”

 

A journalist known as M.A. has shared his point of view with SOHR saying “the economy in regime-held areas has reached an alarming level of deterioration which has been reflected in the growing popular discontent expressed on social media by well-known figures whose living situations are much better that others. Almost daily, we see video clips and statements by artists, media activists and famous figures, expressing their anger of the deteriorating situation.

 

On August 28, the Consumer Protection Directorate in Damascus posted a publication of the prices of vegetables, chicken meat and eggs as follows:

 

  • Potato: 1,100 SYL per kilo

 

  • Tomato: 1,100 SYL per kilo

 

  • Onion: 0,900 SYL per kilo

 

  • Cucumber: 0,900 SYL per kilo

 

  • Courgette: 0,750 SYL per kilo

 

  • Eggplant: 0,600 SYL per kilo

 

  • Cabbage: 0,725 SYL per kilo

 

  • Green Pepper: 0,725 SYL per kilo

 

  • Chicken: 6,000 SYL per kilo

 

  • Chicken meat: 8,300 SYL per kilo

 

  • Chicken wings: 5,800 SYL per kilo

 

  • Grilled chicken: 19,800 SYL per kilo

 

  • Egg: 8,000 SYL per package

 

  • A sandwich of Shawarma: 3,000 SYL.

 

These prices are higher by over 30 % than the prices announced in a publication posted by the Consumer Protection Directorate in early August.

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