Syria’s crisis has set back its economy

23.08.2018 - Syria - CCTV+

Syria’s crisis has set back its economy
(Image by CCTV+)

The Syrian crisis has greatly set back the economy of this once middle-income country, bringing about direct losses up to 120 billion U.S. dollars to the country as a whole and an alarming 268 billion U.S. dollars to the industries.

It has stymied the annual growth since 2000, 7.9 percent at the highest.

Agriculture and petroleum, the two pillar industries, were the hardest hit.

The major oil-producing areas such as Deir al-Zor, Homs and al-Hasakah, produced less and less oil, with the rest going to the black market, due to the control by the anti-government forces, extreme organizations and the Syrian Democratic Army led by the Kurds.

Statistics show that the total export dropped to 2.16 billion U.S. dollars in 2012 from 7.79 billion in 2011 and even down to only 65 million in 2015 before recovering a little by 2016.

The proportion of crude oil export in the total export dropped to 15 percent in 2012 from 57 percent in 2011 and it was negligible by 2015.

Data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) show that cotton production plummeted from the pre-war 900,000 tons to 160,000 tons.

The Syrian pound has been falling steadily, with its exchange rate to the dollar dropping from 47 to 1 in 2011 to 434 to 1 at present, depreciating by about 900 percent. This has resulted in the soaring of domestic prices.

The annual report 2017 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says that 85 percent of Syria’s population live below the international poverty line, with the unemployment rate soaring to 53 percent in 2017 from 14.9 percent in 2011.

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) estimated in August this year that the direct economic losses caused by the Syrian crisis reached 120 billion U.S. dollars and the losses to its industries reached an alarming 268 billion U.S. dollars.

Categories: Economics, Middle East, Peace and Disarmament
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