The Assad regime’s Ministry of Internal Trade decided to lift subsidies on basic bread for charities, including orphans and people with special needs, in the Aleppo Governorate. It increased the price of bread by 5 times its original price. Charities are now added to the list of several entities affected by the lifting of bread subsidies, the last of which was the university housing in Damascus.
A newspaper close to the Assad regime quoted unnamed sources from the associations of the orphanage and the nursing home in Aleppo, saying that “the Ministry of Supply has lifted bread subsidies for all charities. They were forced to buy a bread bundle for 1205 pounds instead of 200 Syrian pounds,” an increase by more than 5 times.
Pro-regime media sources stated that the decision to lift subsidies for associations came despite the ministry’s claims. It claimed that the decision would come with the exception of orphanages, associations of people with special needs, and Sharia schools. This is associated with a previous decision to prevent the sale of a percentage of bread outside the smart card. Meanwhile, the associations said that they would incur additional burdens on expenses in light of the difficult economic conditions.
The decision to lift subsidies came amid appeals to exclude charities from the decision until the creation of the special mechanism promised by the Assad regime. The associations denounced the lifting of bread subsidies for homes housing people with special needs –such as the nursing home, which buys 80 bread bundles a day for its residents– while the orphanage buys 40 bread bundles a day, it estimates.
A few days ago, the Interior Ministry of Trade denied what it said was “the news circulating about depriving some cases of bread.” It referred to statements quoted by the regime’s media confirming the decision to lift subsidies on bread and sell the material to customers, students, and special cases at a price about five times higher than the subsidized price. The governor of the regime in Hama issued a decision to limit the working hours of private bakeries in the governorate.
It should be noted that the Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection in the regime, issued several decisions on raising the price of bread and reducing the allocation of the material, and the application of various mechanisms for the distribution of allocations to the population. The bread crisis continues in areas under the control of the regime.
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.