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Syria war has cost $650bn, poverty rate hits 90%  

October 4, 2022 at 10:43 am

Civilians living in camps in Idlib province in northwest Syria on April 11, 2022 [İzzettin Kasım/Anadolu Agency]

The Syrian regime’s war against the revolution has changed the shape and structure of the state at all levels, and cost the country $650 billion.

According to official statistics, the gross domestic product (GDP) has declined from about $60 billion in 2011 when the war started to less than $11 billion in 2022 while the exchange rate of the Syrian currency against the dollar has dropped from 50 liras in 2011 to more than 4,500 liras in 2022.

According to Martin Griffiths, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, the poverty rate in Syria has exceeded 90 per cent and the unemployment rate has increased to 83 per cent, while about 12.4 million Syrians do not know where their next meal will come from.

Syrian researcher Samir Seifan said there are no documented official statistics on the losses caused by the Syrian war, however, the Syrian Response Coordinators team’s estimate the war losses hit about $650 billion.

In 2011, the number of Syrian army personnel was about 400,000 in addition to about 100,000 security personnel, however, since then about 150,000 fighters have joined the regime forces as “revolutionaries”, in addition to about 100,000 militiamen which drained the public budget and shifted funding from the productive sectors to militarisation, Seifan explained.

“There are no official figures on the army’s share in the budget nor on the size of military spending, but since 2011, it is almost equal to all spending in the rest of the sectors, if we take into account the price of weapons, wages and treatment, and note the destruction and human losses,” he added.

Seifan said turning the country into an international war arena, after confronting the Syrians’ dream of justice and equal share in wealth and freedom, has exacerbated economic losses as a result of the exit of capital and investments, and the multiplicity of parties controlling the Syrian territories as well as the Syrian Democratic Forces’ control over oil and gas fields.

The Syrian government recently estimated the losses in the oil and gas sectors at about $107.1 billion both in “direct losses and missing values”.