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Hummus, Falafel No More Affordable for the Poor in Damascus

The costs of once popular dishes have become unaffordable for most Syrians, opposition website Iqtissadi reports
Hummus, Falafel No More Affordable for the Poor in Damascus

Popular dishes are no more affordable for Syria’s poor, who now constitute 80 percent of the population, because of their low income relative to the exorbitant costs of these dishes.

In light of the rocket-high prices of falafel (most popular middle eastern fast food made of chickpeas, fresh herb, and spices), hummus and shawarma, the solutions provided by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Protection seem to be ineffective.

The almost daily price bulletin updates do not keep pace with the large drop in the value of Syrian pound, which lead to a surge in prices.

No Fair Pricing

Residents told Iqtissad that the prices of the falafel sandwich, whose official pricing is supposed to range from SYP 350 to 500, is sold for at least SYP 800. A falafel piece is sold at a price ranging between 50 and 75, and sometimes 100 while the official price is set at 25 pounds.

The Ministry’s latest bulletin set the prices for a shawarma sandwich from SYP 1000 to 1500, depending on the quantity of chicken meat. In practice prices are as high as 100% from that price.

The same applies to grilled chicken, which is priced by the ministry at SYP 11,500, but is not sold to the consumer for less than 20,000.

Younes Al-Karim, economic expert, told Iqtissad that the Syrian regime is planning to remove subsidies on some basic materials by reducing the price difference between the official pricing issued by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and market prices.

The Ministry did not act to find a reasonable pricing that would guarantee sellers reasonable profits, and buyers, reasonable prices. For example, the price of SYP 1000 for one kilo of gave beans barely covers half the cost for sellers, who resort to selling it at prices ranging from SYP 2,500 to 3,200.

The same applies to chickpeas and hummus where the official pricing is also unfair.


This article was 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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