The local council in the city of Marraat al-Nu’man has opened a market with an estimated cost of 70 thousand dollars seeking to provide the city’s people and the displaced persons with commodities of convenient prices, especially during Ramadan, during which prices usually go soaring.
This project is the first of its kind in the opposition-held Northern Syria; in cooperation with “Tatweer” Organization, the market was opened early in May.
The project has provided many job opportunities for young men and helped people secure their needs for low expenses, which are markedly different from those provided by the shops.
The city of Maarrat al-Nu’man is located in the southern countryside of Idlib governorate with a population of 120 thousand people according to its local council, 97 thousand people are originally from the city, while the 23 thousand others are the displaced people who took refugee in the city after escaping different areas.
In an interview with Enab Baladi, Bilal Dhekrah, the head of the city’s local council, said that the idea was proposed by the council’s members, triggered by the extravagant prices of commodities in the free markets and the people’s declining purchase power. The market, thus, aims to smooth the prices, as to alleviate a part of the people’s financial suffering.
Dhekrak confirmed the project’s estimated cost, 70 thousand dollars. As for the beneficiaries, the market is for all the community’s people, with no exception; it serves the city and people in adjacent towns.
Rami al-Shardoub, a resident in Maarrat al-Nu’man, believes in the project’s beneficial dimension, especially for the people whose income is limited with all the displaced people from Eastern Ghouta and the northern countryside of Homs, who the city has received.
Al-Shardoub praised the prices of the market’s commodities, for they have been smoothed and are equal to those of wholesale products, pointing out that this helped in creating a great demand on the part of the people, who found their needs in it.
The market contains all the supplies needed for a house; food materials, detergents, and general basic commodities, in addition to drinks.
The sales do not aim at benefit; rather, they are planned to cover the project’s cost and the team’s salaries.
The effect of the rising prices in al-Maarra is backed by Ramadan, which also have been affected by the Syrian pound’s value difference against the dollar, in addition the merchants and monopolists’ hegemony over food merchandise and their manipulation of prices.
Idlib governorate is witnessing a security decline due to the proliferating assassinations and explosives that are hampering the area’s economy.
The market is one of several projects that the local council plans to implement in Ramadan, some of which are relief-based, in addition to the distribution of ready-made meals to the displaced people, preparing group iftar meals, offering food baskets to the families of martyrs’ and detainees’, women and widows.