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Residents complain about traders’ monopolizing essential materials in Damascus

Editing: Mohamad Alaa |
Translation: Muhammad Ghaith
Publication date: 2020/01/17 10:30

Damascus - SMART

On Friday, residents complained about the lack of essential food materials from  Damascus markets after the Syrian government decided to sell them by smart cards system starting from February.

A citizen reported to SMART that the Syrian government’s decision to sell essential materials such as sugar, tea, and rice by smart cards contributed to the lack of these materials. The citizen added that traders monopolize and store these materials to sell them later at high prices after the decision enters into force.

In 2016, the Syrian government launched the smart cards project to allocate the residents’ receiving fuel and major materials. The Syrian government limited the project to its controlled areas. 

The citizen said that sugar and tea are almost unavailable in markets, so that the residents are forced to buy their needs at a price that is higher by 100 Syrian pounds. The price of sugar has increased from 500 to 600 SYP.

Another citizen noted that when he asked retailers about the reason behind the lack of sugar, they claim that sugar is unavailable in markets and that they buy sugar at a high price. 

Residents complain about poor services amidst prohibitively high prices in Syrian government-controlled areas, as Syrian Lira continues to decline against the US dollar. On Thursday, the dollar exchange rate reached 1,200 SYP in Syrian government-controlled governorates. 

The Syrian Lira current exchange rate is the worst in history since the Evacuation Day of Syria and the separation of Syrian and Lebanese liras. The price of the US dollar exchange rate was 2 SYP in 1961 and  47 SYP in 2010. After 2011, the Syrian Lira deteriorated in an accelerated way all over the past few years.

Syrian Lira deteriorated exchange rate caused prices of major materials, food, fuel, and goods to increase in most Syrian government-controlled governorates. A number of trade shops also closed due to the high prices.