Al-Raqqah markets | Noticeable soaring prices of food, vegetables and meat
Since the beginning of Ramadan, Al-Raqqah markets have experienced significant increase in prices of foodstuffs, vegetables, meat and medicines, as it is the case across the entire Syrian geography.
With two thirds of Al-Raqqah population, mostly workers and craftsmen, suffering extreme poverty, the locals are struggling with dreadful living conditions.
Speaking to SOHR, Abu Mohamed an employee in “Al-Raqqah Civil Council” in his fifties said, “My salary is 260,000 SYL and I have to pay rental fees of 100,000 SYL a month. I work a night shift as a taxi driver. However, living costs are very high and I do not receive any type of support, neither food baskets nor financial and medical assistance. The current dire living conditions are unprecedented. Even during the worst situations in our areas in the 1990s, there were consumer co-operative institutions providing food supplies via ration cards and tickets.”
According to SOHR sources, employees in the Autonomous Administration institutions and civil councils are the poorest category in Al-Raqqah, where their monthly salaries do not exceed 70 USD each.
A 30-year-old a greengrocer known as Samer Ismael from Al-Qoutly street in Al-Raqqah told SOHR, “since the beginning of Ramadan, vegetable prices have been compounded, where the price of tomato has increased from 1,500 SYL to 4,500 SYL per kilogram, while the price of cucumber has increased from 2,000 SYL to 6,000 SYL per kilogram. The reason behind this increase is the fact that merchants of Al-Haal market stockpile goods and products, creating a crisis. The merchant later sent these goods to areas in Deir Ezzor and Al-Hasakah countryside in order to sell them for higher prices. Other reasons can be also manifested in the lack of imported vegetables and absence of superintendence.”
Al-Raqqah is known for its local vegetables that are available on markets in summer and spring, where they are relatively cheap in these seasons.
Like Al-Raqqah, residents in several areas controlled by the Autonomous Administration in Deir Ezzor and Al-Hasakah countryside are struggling with deteriorating living conditions and poor service. In this context, popular protests took place in areas in Al-Shuhayl, Al-Hesan and Al-Kebar areas over the low salaries of teachers, while the protestors called for improvement of living conditions, especially with the unaffordable prices of essential products, such as sugar, rice and cooking oil. The prices of sugar, rice and cooking oil have increased, where the new prices have been set as follows:
- Sugar: 5,000 SYL per kilogram.
- Rice: 4,000 SYL per kilogram.
- Cooking oil: starts from 11,000 SYL per litre.
On the other hand, Al-Hasakah and Al-Qamishli cities experienced noticeable congestion in front of petrol stations due to the small number of licensed petrol stations, as well the lack of fuel and its high prices. Here are the latest prices of fuel:
- Diesel: 1,500 SYL per litre
- Petrol: 1,700 SYL per litre
- Gas cylinder (available only on black markets): 50,000 SYL.
It is worth that the three Syrian zones of influence: regime-controlled areas, areas controlled by Turkish-backed factions and areas controlled by the Autonomous Administration, are witnessing dreadful living conditions, amid almost-complete lack of effective role of humanitarian and international organisations operating in Syria.