Hunger and unemployment..a quarter of the population of Damascus depends on remittances from abroad


The living and humanitarian situation worsens in SyriaDay after day due to the deteriorating economic conditions, high unemployment rates and low income, whether in the north or south of the country, or even in Damascus.

Waiting for bread, gas and fuel in long queues has become a familiar daily scene, reflecting the situation of the Syrian citizen, as the capital’s economy in particular during the past ten years has witnessed structural changes as a result of war conditions and security measures.

The economy has undergone extensive structural changes, and the city’s share of the country’s general economic decline has been very large.

Changing sources of income

Likewise, the large-scale refugee movement among Syrians outside the country, in addition to the decline in traditional economic activities, contributed to the production of a number of consequences, foremost of which was the change in the population’s main sources of income.

According to a study by the Center for Policy and Operations Research, the deteriorating conditions in Damascus have sharply increased the population’s dependence on the assistance of others, citing remittances from friends and relatives abroad as a major source of income.

She explained that 25.8% of the respondents in the study said that remittances from friends and relatives outside Syria are one of the main sources of income.

Shops in the capital, Damascus (Reuters)

Shops in the capital, Damascus (Reuters)

Remittances contribute to raising spending

Also, the remittances of Syrians from abroad contributed to a clear increase in spending for the residents of Damascus, reaching 61.5%. The percentage of those relying on these remittances as one of the main sources of income for the group that spends between 601 and 800,000 Syrian pounds per month.

While the percentage of reliance on these remittances among the lowest spenders group decreased to 15.5%, its role in increasing monthly spending in order to obtain the basic needs of life appeared, in light of a regressive economy.

The study also revealed that 70.7% of the sample reported that their families depend on two or three main sources of income for their livelihood, while 19.2% of them said that their families depend on a single source of income.

Syrian pound (Reuters)

Syrian pound (Reuters)

Families depend on income from abroad and organizations

In addition, it showed that the majority of families depend on the work of one or more of them to secure their main income, but the data also showed that high percentages of the population depended on support coming from abroad, and on the work of relief organizations inside the country.

In practice, this means the inability of the local economy to meet the needs of the population and the urgent need for a large part of them for assistance provided by another party, whether it is a Syrian living outside the country, or a relief organization working to provide assistance inside the country.

A shop in Damascus (Reuters)

A shop in Damascus (Reuters)

While the percentage of those who indicated that the in-kind and cash assistance provided by relief organizations is one of their sources of income reached 41.8% of the respondents.

It is noteworthy that the fuel and bread crises began to escalate since the beginning of September 2020, which prompted the regime government to reduce the quantities of bread available to each family according to the number of family members, while the smart card was adopted for gasoline. Sugar into tea, oil, rice and other substances.


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