Surviving on a Shoestring: The Syrian Pound’s Freefall and its Devastating Impact on Daily Life

The rapid collapse of the Syrian pound against foreign currencies came to deepen the ongoing crises faced by Syrians since the inception of the conflict in March 2011. This includes a range of challenges such as loss of life, mass migration, displacement, and widespread destruction of homes and infrastructure. The situation has been particularly dire since 2020, marked by the implementation of the US Caesar sanctions on the Syrian government.

Despite Washington’s claim that the sanctions are directed to the Syrian government for its violations against its citizens throughout the crisis, with the intention of compelling engagement in talks for a political solution, it is the Syrian civilians who bear the heaviest burden. Through the continued collapse of the pound in parallel with the rise in prices rapidly.

“One hundred thousand pounds is not enough for one lunch, while in past 1,000 pounds was enough for an entire family for all its needs of food, medicine and others things,” Abdel Moneim Darwish, 49 years old, a resident of the NES, from Raqqa, told Target Media Platform; regarding the results and repercussions of the collapsing of the Syrian pound against foreign currencies, and the rise in the prices of all materials and services, including medicines.

Darwish expressed that the fact the NES regions are not exempt from the US sanctions which imposed on the Syrian government, given that these regions consider as a partner with the international coalition in combating terrorism.

The exchange rate of one Syrian pound on the black market at current time is 15,000 per one US dollar, meanwhile the exchange rate was 2,000 pounds against one dollar at the beginning of 2020, and fifty pounds at the outbreak of the crisis in Syria in March 2011.

Ismail Al-Tammo, one of the merchants in the city of Raqqa, “We as merchants, citizens, and workers were affected by the American sanctions on Syria.” He said Target Media Platform, that the items that were sold for $10 has now sold for $20, in addition to the continued deterioration of the currency, This is due to Western sanctions. At the current time the exchange rate has reached 15,500 Syrian pound, per one US dollar today.

Alarming Statistics: 90% of Syrians Face Imminent Threat of Poverty

According to United Nations reports, 90% of the Syrian population resides below the poverty line. Additionally, 12 million individuals face food insecurity, with an alarming 2.7 million experiencing severe food insecurity. Furthermore, the cost of essential commodities and food items continues to surge, affecting regions across the country on a near-daily basis.

The Economist expert Ibrahim Muhammad, from Raqqa, told Target Media Platform that “since the onset of war in Syria in 2011, a large part of the population’s economic structure has been destroyed, which led to a big collapse in the economic situation, as a result of consequence of these conditions there has been the migration of economic activities to outside the country. He added that a few years ago, sanctions were imposed on Syria, which served as the final nail in the coffin of the economic situation of the people.”

Authentic Political Dialogues

Since June 2020, the American Caesar sanctions on the Syrian government have come into effect, the United States says that Damascus and its officials committed serious violations against the Syrians during the years of war. This was preceded by the European Union and many Western countries imposing similar sanctions on the Syrian government. Amid Western insistence not to lift these sanctions or participate in the reconstruction of Syria before Damascus engages in real political negotiations in accordance with the UN resolutions on Syria, most notably Resolution 2254, the formation of a transitional governing body and the achievement of a peaceful political transition, away from all forms of violence, the release of detainees and the disclosure of their fate.

The collapse of the pound and the rise in food prices, Syria, especially the areas controlled by the Syrian government, is witnessing a scarcity of fuel and oil derivatives as a result of Western sanctions, where the price of one liter of diesel reached about 15,000 thousand pounds and gasoline to more than 10,000 pounds, amid the almost lack of domestic gas, as reports confirm that there is a state of anger and popular discontent in those areas, in light of Damascus’ continued inability to put an end to those Crises.








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