Deteriorating Living Standards Boost Migration from Regime Areas

Local markets are witnessing significant price increases for basic foods, according to Shaam Network.

A local, pro-Assad regime radio station has broadcast statements from Ziad Arbash, an adviser in energy and economic affairs, which offered several justifications for deteriorating living conditions. Pro-regime media conveyed expectations that Syria would turn into an “old country,” devoid of young men and women, with the escalation of migration from regime-controlled areas in light of the continued deterioration of living standards.

Amina al-Fadel, a sociologist, said that everyone repeats the same complaint: “Living is no longer bearable here.” Fadel noted the increasing migration of girls in light of the high rate of unmarried women in Syria, which has led to the loss of hope among 60% of girls. Fadel predicted that Syria would become another elderly country, lacking young men and women.

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Fadel added that people have exhausted all their savings during the years of war, leaving them with nothing but to sell their real estate such as houses, agricultural land and shops in order to emigrate, and pointed out that those wishing to migrate and its difficulties see them as lesser than they live by depriving them of the basic necessities of living in Syria.

Pro-Assad regime media have reported that migration from difficult living conditions, which has increased over the past two years, is the main reason pushing people to leave Syria. Other factors include very low salaries, deteriorating purchasing power due to steep price increases, a lack of public services, and a drastically low marriage rate.

According to Arbash, the regime-controlled areas have reached an economically critical stage because some people receive salaries, incomes, and revenues from other sources, amidst justifications related to global and regional crises. Indeed, four global crises persist until this day — namely, the energy, food, climate, and financial crises.

Arbash claimed that the government is supposed to cancel its entire fleet of luxury cars and replace it with national “Sham” cars, as long as it demands that people should not use their savings and part of the population is relying on aid to survive, while others depend on remittances. Another group benefits from remittances indirectly by selling their goods and services to those who receive the remittances. The coming months promise to be difficult in light of winter increases in food prices, especially since 70% of household spending already goes towards the cost of food.

Local markets are witnessing significant price increases for basic foods, which citizens attributed to the regime’s decision to lift subsidies. Meanwhile, statements by Assad regime officials ranged from denial to recognition of the relationship between lifting subsidies and high price increases. Officials accused traders of exploiting the Ukraine crisis, amongst other justifications and excuses for the deterioration of living and economic conditions, as well as spiralling price increases.

 

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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