More Than Half of Damascus’ Population Below Poverty Line

According to a study, 53% of Damascus' population is poor, and close to 42% rely on aid, according to Athr Press.

The Operations & Policy Center (OPC) has published a study that monitors the key economic indicators in Damascus, split into three sections: employment, consumption, and spending. The report included 600 interviews with participants across three residential areas: Nahr Eshe (poor), al-Zahera (middle-income), and Ruken al-Din (high-income). 

The report’s data indicated that the average full-time working week in Damascus was 52.5 hours. This amount is higher than the overall rate in the governorate, while also exceeding the rate allowed under Syrian labor law. In 2004, the average full-time working hours for residents of Syrian cities were 46.2 hours per week. 

In addition, 41 percent of respondents worked 41-60 hours a week, while 24.4 percent said that they worked more than 60 hours a week. In contrast, the figures indicated that the families of 53 percent of all respondents live below the poverty line. 

The 26-35 age group maintains the highest employment rate at 77.7 percent, followed by the 36-45 age group with 76.5 percent. 

Since 2011, labor market dynamics show a major migration in employment from the private sector to the public sector. 45 percent of respondents have jobs in government and private institutions, 30.3 percent state they are “workmen”, while independent professionals such as engineers and lawyers account for 23.1 percent. 

Further, the study shows that 10.4% of men are working multiple jobs at once. In fact, 70.7 percent of respondents said that their families depended on two or three main sources of income, and 41.8 percent of respondents reported that they relied on in-kind and cash assistance from relief organizations as a major source of income.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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