Syrian authorities have announced a sharp increase in the prices of bread and fuel, in efforts to counter the economic crisis that has gripped the country over the past few years.
According to the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the regime yesterday doubled the price of bread and tripled the price of diesel throughout the territories under its control.
In a price list published by SANA, one litre of diesel fuel now costs 500 Syrian pounds ($0.40) in comparison to the 180 pounds ($0.14) customers previously paid. The price of bread subsidised by the authorities doubled to 200 pounds ($0.16), which, according to the state-run Syrian Foundation for Bakeries, was increased because of the rise in fuel prices.
Caused by the ongoing civil war, the international sanctions against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad, rampant corruption and the economic and political crises impacting neighbouring Lebanon, Syria has been suffering from a financial crash in recent years.
At the start of the Syrian revolution and conflict in 2011, one US dollar was equivalent to around 50 Syrian pounds, but now the dollar is equivalent to around 1,257 Syrian pounds. There has also emerged a significant shortage of fuel and wheat for bread, exacerbated by the drought that has hit the country over the past year.
Despite the regime's allies attempting to alleviate those shortages, with Iran sending shipments of millions of barrels of oil and Russia sending wheat to the country, the economic freefall is ongoing and prices have continued to rise.
On the same day as the increase in bread and fuel prices, the authorities announced a 50 per cent increase in the salaries of public sector workers, raising their pay from 47,000 Syrian pounds ($18) per month to 71,515 ($28) pounds. Pensions for those in the public sector and military were also increased by 40 per cent.