Activists are reporting this morning that Syria’s Pound has fallen on the unofficial market to 316:1 vs. the US dollar, less than 1/6th of its value at the start of the conflict in 2011 and close to its low of August 2013 when US military intervention was feared.
A long-time resident of Damascus has been in touch with EA to describe what that means for everyday life, as prices of food and basic goods rise:
The average salary here is about 15,000 Syrian Pounds per month, or around $50.
The price of bananas is now 1000 SYP for a kilo [2.2 pounds]. Imagine — one kilo of bananas takes up 1/15th of your salary for the month!
Beef is 3000 SYP for a kilo. Bread is subsidized, so that is still OK. But tomatoes are now 300 SYP [for a kilo] and the price of eggs is now 800 SYP for 30.
I have a very good job, but my sister has a basic Government position so she lives on the average 15,000 SYP per month. Fortunately, my family can use savings — for the near-future, at least.
If you are not paying rent and have your own home, that makes a difference. But for those who have to rent, the situation is almost impossible — the average [price] for a month is about 40,000 to 50,000 SYP.