Syria’s Prime Minister: Sanctions affected the Syrians’ living standards but didn’t dissuade them from their national stances

Syrian Prime Minister told the Syrian (Parliament) the government is working to find solution and take steps to provide citizens' needs and carry out essential plans and projects.


Dec 31, 2012 — Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi told the Syrian People’s Assembly (Parliament) on Monday that that the government is carrying out its duties despite the current conditions and difficulties, working to find solution and take steps to provide citizens' needs and carry out essential plans and projects.


Al-Halqi stressed that the unfair economic sanctions against Syria hindered the imports and exports process, while the security situation had a negative impact on agriculture and industry, with these factors raising prices and affecting exchange rates, and subsequently affected the Syrian people's livelihood directly.


He affirmed that the government supports the Armed Forces and security forces, in addition to caring for the families of martyrs and restoring security and stability across the country.


Diesel and bread


Regarding the diesel and bread, the two commodities which the Syrians are suffereing from their lack, the Prime Minister said that the government signed contracts with friendly countries to procure diesel fuel, adding that 75% to 80% of the country's diesel needs are available and that distribution is underway according to a methodical program, despite continuing terrorist attacks on transport vehicles.


Al-Halqi asserted that Syria has a reserve of wheat that can supply the country for 377 days as of Monday, and that recent flour shortages were due to attacks on power stations and distribution networks, which affected mills and bakeries and thus reduced the amount of produced bread, asserting that the flour and bread shortages are over in most areas.



Background and Comment

The UN World Food Program (WFP) said earlier this week that bread and fuel supply are major challenges for the war-torn country. A WFP report said there were long lines at bakeries in many parts of the country.


Fuel prices have reached "unprecedented levels" inside Syria. The continuing shortage of fuel may limit WFP from being able to distribute food.


Funding has also become a crisis with the Syrian relief effort short of $ US 144 million dollars. WFP is voluntarily funded by governments and the public. Currently, WFP is feeding 1.5 million Syrians affected by the fighting.


In neighboring Jordan, at the Al Za’atri Camp, there were 3,256 new arrivals fleeing the war in Syria earlier this month. Welcome meals are distributed to new arrivals. At the camp, WFP distributed dry rations in December to over 28,400 beneficiaries. Save the Children is also distributing bread at the camp.


In Lebanon, WFP is reaching over 50,000 Syrian refugees this month. Similar operations are also ongoing in Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. Food vouchers are distributed to many refugees which allows them to purchase fresh food from local markets.



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