Friday, November 10, 2023

Syria Increases Salary for Civil Servants and Military Staff


Syrian President Bashar Assad has announced a significant pay rise for civil servants and pensioners in the war-torn country. This move comes as the Syrian economy continues to struggle after 12 years of conflict that has resulted in the death of over 500,000 people and the displacement of millions.

In a bid to alleviate the financial burden on its citizens, Assad issued two decrees on Tuesday, doubling the salaries and pensions of current and former civil servants, military personnel, and contract workers. Prior to this decision, civil servants were earning a meager monthly salary ranging from $10 to $25, depending on the street value of the Syrian pound.

Additionally, the decrees also established a minimum monthly wage of 185,940 Syrian pounds (approximately $13 on the black market) for the private sector. This move aims to address the growing income inequality and provide some relief for workers outside of the public sector.

In a separate statement, the commerce ministry announced the lifting of subsidies on petrol and a partial lifting of subsidies on fuel oil. As a result, the price of petrol has increased from 3,000 to 8,000 pounds, while fuel oil has risen from 700 to 2,000 pounds. These changes reflect the government’s efforts to reduce the strain on its budget and redirect funds towards other pressing needs.

The Syrian pound has experienced a significant depreciation since the start of the war. Currently trading at around 14,300 to the US dollar on unofficial monitoring websites, it has lost most of its value compared to the official rate of 8,542. This depreciation has plunged a large portion of the population into poverty, according to the United Nations.

While the pay rise and lifting of fuel subsidies may provide some temporary relief for Syrians, the underlying economic challenges remain. The country’s infrastructure has been severely damaged, making it difficult to attract foreign investment and rebuild industries. Additionally, ongoing political instability and international sanctions further hinder economic recovery.

The Syrian government has been exploring various avenues to address these issues. In recent years, it has sought financial assistance from allies such as Russia and Iran. However, these efforts have not been sufficient to revive the economy and improve living conditions for the majority of Syrians.

To achieve sustainable economic growth, Syria needs a comprehensive reconstruction plan that focuses on rebuilding infrastructure, revitalizing key industries, and creating job opportunities. This requires not only domestic efforts but also international support and investment.

In the meantime, the Syrian people continue to bear the brunt of the economic crisis. High inflation, limited job opportunities, and rising prices have made it increasingly difficult for families to make ends meet. The pay rise and lifting of fuel subsidies may provide some temporary relief, but more comprehensive measures are needed to address the root causes of the economic challenges.

As the conflict in Syria enters its 12th year, it is crucial for the international community to step up its efforts to support the country’s recovery. This includes providing humanitarian aid, facilitating peace negotiations, and offering financial assistance for reconstruction. Only through collective action can Syria hope to rebuild its economy and provide a better future for its citizens.

In conclusion, President Bashar Assad’s decision to increase salaries and pensions for civil servants and pensioners, as well as lift fuel subsidies, is a step towards addressing the economic hardships faced by Syrians. However, more comprehensive measures and international support are needed to achieve sustainable economic recovery and improve living conditions in the war-torn country.

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