The Central Bank of Syria (CBS) set on Wednesday the exchange rate of the USD against the Syrian Pound (SYP) at 2814.
According to the Banking and Exchange Bulletin issued by the Central Bank, the purchase price of the US dollar was also set for the delivery of personal remittances received from abroad in Syrian pounds at 2,800 pounds per dollar.
The exchange rate of the SYP against the dollar was previously set at 2512 SYP per dollar, and for personal transfers at 2500 SYP per dollar.
The Bank set the price of the EUR against the SYP at 3051,22.
The bank said in a statement Wednesday that the decision came “based on a set of objective factors related to the global economic situation, which suffers from high rates of inflation and the increase in the prices of most commodities, which was directly reflected in the increase in prices in the local market.”
The statement explained that the exchange rate of personal transfers will be applied to transfers of international non-governmental organizations, transfers of United Nations organizations, and transfers received through the global “Western Union” company, with the aim of “encouraging senders of transfers from foreign countries, especially the countries of the Americas, to send transfers via the official transfer networks.”
Transfers have become a major income for the Syrian people and government. Syrians abroad send money to help their families, “without which we would have starved,” as Abu Kamel, a Syrian father whose three children are in Europe.
Abu Kamel lives now in Damascus with his wife and his divorced daughter. He is a retired teacher. His pension is SYP 60,000 (16 US dollars), so his family entirely relies on the remittance sent by his sons.
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“They send us between 200 and 300 dollars, without which we would have literally starved to death,” he tells The Observer.
Most of the residents in the various Syrian governorates depend on these remittances, especially after the deterioration of the purchasing value of the Syrian pound and the sharp increase in prices.
Experts believe the devaluation of the Syrian Pound by about 12% today is a recognition by the regime of the decline in the exchange rate.
“The aim,” Economist Adnan Abdulrazzak tells The Observer, “is to attract foreign remittances that exceed $5 billion annually. This used to go to neighboring countries and enter Syria in the national currency, which increases the money supply and increases inflation.”
But it is not only that. There are other bigger reasons according to Abdulrazzak.
“I think that there are those who are pushing Assad to reform many things in the country, economically and otherwise,” He said.
“Take for example the new law criminalizing torture.” He explained. “Out of the blue, the very regime which is infamous for the worst kinds of torture issues legislation that criminalizes torture. There must be something bigger than Assad.”
On Wednesday, the US dollar recorded 3950 Syrian pounds on the black market, according to the “Lira Today” website, which specializes in exchange rates and foreign currencies.
This article is an original story from The Syrian Observer.