The Syrian regime’s Syrian Commission for Family and Population Affairs said that the population growth rate between 2011 and 2019 was negative. It revealed the percentage of Syrians suffering from what it described as “extreme poverty.”
In a report announced on Monday on the state of the population in Syria 2020 under the title “Return and Stability”, it stated that the population growth rate fell to -7.6 percent.
The 147-page report added that the proportion of people suffering from “extreme poverty” in Syria amounted to 8.15 percent of the population in 2014, with the highest, in order, in Hassakeh, then Quneitra, Hama, Raqqa, Rural Damascus and Idleb.
Food insecurity in Syria
It pointed out that the percentage of families suffering from food insecurity in Syria has increased over the past years, with variations from one governorate to another. It increased in the eastern and northern governorates of Deir-ez-Zor, Raqqa, Aleppo, Idlib and Hasakeh, compared to the governorates of Suweida, Damascus, Tartous and Latakia.
The report considered that what it described as a “crisis” played a major role in the decline in the standard of living of the population, especially among displaced families who “lost their jobs, sources of livelihood and property.”
Distortions in the labor market
It pointed out that the increase in the depth of distortions in the labour market was reflected in the situation of the population, including “60% of the private sector is unregulated, and 66% of holders of preparatory degrees and below,” in addition to an increase in the rate of child labour.
According to the report, starting in 2012, per capita GDP fell to less than half of what it was in 2010, real wages fell at an average rate of -6 percent, and the share of labour in GDP fell to 26 percent in 2019.
The report limited the reasons for the migration of Syrians to “poverty,” considering it “the strongest factor repelling the population.” It offered two proposals “to get out of this cycle: the first is to start addressing the state of sectoral imbalance and focus on productivity, and the second is to ensure that the inflationary impact of increasing salaries and wages is reduced, and the focus here should be on the issue of redistribution.”
It said that unemployment rates in Syria had risen significantly over the past years, noting that they reached 31.2 percent in 2019.
The report stated that the number of migrants and refugees was estimated in 2019 at about 8.5 million refugees and migrants, considering that “the continued rise in the number of migrants indicates that economic motives prevail over security.”
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.