The regime is aggressively implementing austerity measures across the board, most recently with further reductions to subsidies on basic commodities and tightening of eligibility requirements for the smart card rationing system. As a result, fear is mounting among Syrians on how they will make ends meet with further cuts when they are already struggling. A major hike in fuel prices has increased costs across a number of sectors, but the most concerning policy shift regards bread subsidies, the staple food upon which the vast majority of families depend for survival. The price for a bag of subsidized bread will leap to 1,200 Syrian pounds after the new year, an exponential rise from its current price of 200 pounds. Moreover, regime policy missteps, capital flight among agricultural financers and a historic drought have combined to raise the specter of major flour shortages and famine in the coming year. The sudden closure of more than half the bakeries in Daraa during the last week of November and skyrocketing bread prices at private bakeries, may offer an indication of what lies ahead.
This file monitors and analyses the economic crisis in Syria on a monthly basis.