Since February 2019, Syria’s Central Bank has initiated a number of debt security sales in order to raise funds. This table shows the different debt instruments it has issued.
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After over twenty years of negotiations, the Iranian government has announced that work on a multi-million dollar railway connection from the Iranian town of Shalamcheh to Iraq’s Basra is set to begin within two months. The link is part of a more significant railway project to connect Iran’s Imam Khomeini Port with Syria’s Lattakia Port, the country’s main commercial port.
In late December 2021, Russia carried out a ten-day airstrike campaign on Idlib and parts of Rural Aleppo and Hama, killing civilians and widely damaging civilian infrastructure and key sources of livelihoods, including a UNICEF-supported water station, a foodstuff factory, and several poultry and cow farms. The attacks, which are in violation of the 2020 ceasefire agreement between Turkey and Russia, have only contributed to further exacerbating already deteriorating living conditions in the region and may be a sign of increasing tensions between the two countries.
Germany and Kuwait have both contributed around EUR 10 million each to the opposition-affiliated Syria Recovery Trust Fund, a multi-donor trust fund that channels grant funding from the international community into development projects inside opposition-held areas of Syria.
Gulfsands Petroleum, a London-based oil and gas company that is the operator and joint-owner of Block 26 in Syria, recently received a multi-million dollar financing facility that will allow the company to operate until December 2023.
Electricity companies in the opposition-held parts of the Idlib and Aleppo governorates have recently increased their fees for each kilowatt-hour by 40 to 50 percent in Idlib and 160 to 280 percent in Aleppo, further escalating protests that have proliferated as a result of the region’s worsening economic crisis and the recent collapse of the Turkish lira.
The Syrian Cabinet issued an increase in the monthly compensation of wounded veterans of the National Defence Forces, a pro-government paramilitary force, following a recommendation by the joint committee of the government and the Syria Trust for Development, an NGO run by First Lady Asma Al-Assad.
On January 03, the Central Bank of Syria (CBS) devalued the Syrian pound in its Official exchange rate bulletin, raising it to SYP 2,500 per US dollar from SYP 1,250. It has also recently eased restrictions on daily bank withdrawals, gradually reversing a previous measure that was adopted to strengthen the national currency.
Iran’s crude oil exports to Syria have remained stable for the third quarter in a row, at around 6.9 million barrels for the last three months of 2021. On a year-on-year basis, 2021 witnessed a 42.2 percent surge in Iranian oil shipments to Syria.
At the end of last month, President Bashar Al-Assad issued a new law that organises and increases the financial resources of local administrative units across the country. Among other things, the law authorises administrative units to collect fees on a number of items and services to supplement their budgets.
The Ministry of Electricity has recently announced that electricity will be heavily rationed ahead of the winter season given that local production remains a fraction of demand. Meanwhile, the government plans to activate a new service this month that would allow businesses to avoid rationing electricity altogether in return for paying extremely high fees.
The government has increased the salaries of public sector employees, military staff, and retirees for the second time this year as it scales back subsidies and as prices continue to skyrocket. Meanwhile, in northern Syria, amid the collapse of the Turkish lira, the Syrian Interim Government has also increased salaries for select educational workers, while the Syrian Salvation Government has formed a committee to determine a new minimum wage inside areas under its control.
Although the security situation is the best it has been since the start of the conflict, the agricultural sector in Syria suffers from unfavourable infrastructural, economic, and climatic conditions, according to a 94-page report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham has increased customs duties on goods exchanged through the Al-Ghazawiya crossing, which is shared with the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army, leading to a surge in the prices of imported goods, according to several opposition media outlets.
Today, Bunker Holding, the world’s largest bunker company, its subsidiary, Dan-Bunkering, and its CEO, Keld Demant, have been found guilty of selling jet fuel to Russian companies that was then shipped to Syria. The two companies are obliged to pay millions in fines, while Demant has been sentenced to months in prison.
The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria is drafting a law to establish an independent monetary and financial policy institution, which would be akin to a central bank, in an apparent move to consolidate its autonomy drive. It also recently re-opened a cotton spinning and weaving factory, previously owned by the Syrian government, in a bid to boost self-sufficiency in a key sector of its economy.