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Russia’s invasion casts “dark shadows” on Syria’s economy

An advisor at the Syrian government’s presidency, Ayoub Arish, confirmed that the Ukrainian crisis has broad effects on the global economy, including Syria, whose effects will affect the electricity sector.

Aris expected that most commodity prices and wheat imports would mainly rise.

He explained that the repercussions will reach the sectors of transportation, financial markets, insurance and international supply, as well as the markets for raw materials and strategic commodities such as energy derivatives.

He said that a significant rise in supply costs is expected, which may weaken the ability to supply energy derivatives, including fuel for electricity production, which will negatively affect the country.

Currency collapse

For his part, the economist, Mustafa Khalil, believes that the Syrian market will witness an unprecedented rise in prices, on a daily basis, in various commodities, especially bread.

He added, in statements to “Sky News Arabia”, that the price of a barrel of oil rose to more than $100, and this is a burden that the Syrian government is unable to bear.

Accordingly, the government may resort to raising the prices of oil derivatives such as gas, gasoline, and diesel to add more burdens to the Syrians, causing successive and caustic increases in the prices of commodities that fuel enters into its production, including furnace fuel.

He continued, “It is expected that the Syrian pound will witness an unprecedented collapse in its value, which affects the pockets of citizens, especially the group working for state institutions, which receive almost fixed wages in the Syrian currency, and their salaries do not exceed 40 dollars per month.”

The economic expert noted that the Russian-Ukrainian war had dire consequences for Syria, which is on the brink of famine, especially since 83 percent of its citizens at home live below the poverty line.

Humanitarian aid is affected

Kelly Petillo, Middle East and North Africa analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations believes that the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war will lead to a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

According to Pettilo, this crisis will inevitably lead to diverting emergency funding and resources towards it, which will put pressure on the humanitarian aid program on refugees that benefits refugees from Middle Eastern countries, including Syrians at home and in neighboring countries.

Kelly warned of the impact that increased pressure on humanitarian aid could have on the situation in Syria, whose economy depends on humanitarian aid.

It is expected that it will be affected by US sanctions on Russia, and that Ankara, Beirut and Amman, which receive thousands of Syrian refugees, rely heavily on humanitarian aid, which further complicates their situation due to the unstable local political and economic situation.

crazy prices

The prices of goods, medicines and meat have jumped since Thursday by 300 percent.

Radwan Al-Assaad, a former teaching assistant at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Aleppo, describes this rise as a “slow death” in an interview with Sky News Arabia.

He said that this rise came after the government lifted support for 600,000 families.

As for the economist, Mustafa Khalil, he notes that some drug prices have increased threefold and others fourfold, and the high prices have affected vegetables, fruits and gold.

He added: “With the rise in the prices of medicines, the prices of medicine (health care) will also rise. The doctor’s examination in the city of Aleppo, before the Ukrainian crisis, ranged between 25/30 thousand Syrian pounds, and some doctors raised it to 50 thousand pounds (equivalent to 28 dollars), and hospitals’ wages tripled after outbreak of war.

proactive plan

During a press conference at the Ministry of Information in Damascus on Thursday, Syrian Economy Minister Muhammad Samer Al-Khalil said that the government announced, after an exceptional session, a plan to manage economic and living conditions to mitigate the repercussions of the Ukrainian crisis on the country.

The government official confirmed a proactive plan prepared by the government aimed at developing basic scenarios to confront the current emergency crises.

Regarding the cost of importing wheat and oil, Al-Khalil pointed out that Syria imports in foreign currency more than 180,000 tons of wheat per month, while importing oil costs more than two and a half billion euros annually.

The government’s plan for the next two months includes austerity, guidance in managing stocks of basic materials such as sugar, oil, wheat, and others, and checking their distribution levels.

In addition, supervision of the exchange markets will be tightened to ensure that their stability is not tampered with and to prevent manifestations of monopoly. Despite that, the markets witnessed an unprecedented rise in prices since the outbreak of the battles between Russia and Ukraine.

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