The costs of living in Syria have witnessed a significant increase as residents continue to struggle covering even the most basic expenses with paltry wages.
Salaries of employees in Syria range between 25,000 and 42,000 Syrian pounds. In a regime-controlled area that is not facing blockade, we found that the average salary of a family of five cannot cover half of the food and other essential needs.
Families would need 6,000 pounds monthly to cover their daily bread needs, nearly a quarter of the salary of grade-5 employees who receive a salary of 25,000 pounds.
For preparing food, a family would need 4,500 pounds for gas, 3,000 pounds for cooking oil and 6,500 pounds for ghee, a total of 14,000 pounds.
A standard family would need 4 kg of sugar a week at 410 pounds per kilo, making about 6,400 pounds a month. Add to that 2,000 pounds for a kilo of tea monthly.
The above are the essential and minimum needs for a family of five, making a total of 28,400 pounds monthly, exceeding the 25,000 pounds salary of a low-level employee.
For lunches, a family would need monthly: 6,400 pounds for rice, 3,600 pounds for bulgur, 1,000 pounds for tomato paste and 5,600 pounds for yogurt. Add to this daily needs for vegetables like potatoes, marrows, tomatoes, eggplants and beans.
For minimal breakfasts, a family would require eggs, yogurt and olives. Every month, two boxes of eggs cost around 3,800 pounds, 3 kg of yogurt costs 7,200 pounds, and olives are about 3,200 a month.
Families with children and babies would need to budget for other expenses, like milk and nappies. A baby would need three to four cans of milk powder, at 3,000 pounds each, totaling 12,000 pounds monthly. If the family decided to give their children cow milk, they would need 1 liter each day, at 200 per liter, almost 6,000 pounds a month.
Meanwhile, families with children attending schools and universities cannot cover expenses without support from relatives and other sources of income.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.