Income levels in Syria cover only 29% of expenses

A man carries World Food Programme aid to his home in Idlib, northwest Syria, days after the earthquake disaster - February 27, 2023 (WFP)

A man carries World Food Programme aid to his home in Idlib, northwest Syria, days after the earthquake disaster - February 27, 2023 (WFP)

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The World Food Programme (WFP) stated that the cost of basic commodities continues to rise in Syria, yet income levels remain low, covering only 29% of total expenses.

The program affiliated with the United Nations, in a report published on May 9, noted that already deteriorating living standards in Syria continue to decline in 2024, due to the devaluation of the Syrian pound, fuel shortages, and regional conflict.

The report explained that the Syrian pound lost about 47% of its value in the parallel market over the past year, and 92% over four years.

In the last week of April 2024, the average exchange rate of the Syrian pound was 14,880 pounds for every dollar in the parallel market.

The program pointed out that the price of the survival minimum expenditure basket, a measure to calculate the cost of living for a family of five per month which equals the concept of the poverty line, rose 2% to about 2.75 million Syrian pounds last March, doubling the figure from the same period last year, and quadrupling approximately in two years.

Meanwhile, the cost of the food basket in March 2024 slightly decreased, averaging 957,000 Syrian pounds for a family of five, but this price still represents an increase of 87% compared to the previous year.

The WFP announced the end of its general food assistance program across Syria in January of the previous year, due to funding shortages.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had stated at the beginning of the current year that according to the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) for 2024 in Syria, 16.7 million people need humanitarian assistance, with an increase of 9% over the previous year.

Furthermore, it added in its report that the Syrian crisis continues to affect the lives of millions, the security situation in parts of the country is unpredictable, and the economic situation continues to deteriorate, as well as the earthquake that struck in February 2023, further worsening the situation inside Syria.

 

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