Damascus News

09-04-2024
Damascus is considering further privatising the public healthcare system, a move that might lighten the budget burden of the Ministry of Health but will severely impact the lives of Syrians that depend on free medical services in public hospitals and primary healthcare centres. The Ministry of Health has begun the procedures to transform all public hospitals into entities with administrative and financial independence and has also taken steps to “explore” a public-private partnership model for the management of medical facilities.
09-04-2024
Iran's oil exports to Syria decreased 27 percent in the first quarter of 2024 compared with the last quarter of 2023, and 24 percent on a year-on-year basis. In the last quarter of 2023, exports stood at 8.8 million barrels, an average of 95,938 bopd, while in the same quarter of last year they reached 9.1 million barrels, averaging 101,750 bopd. This quarter’s results are the lowest in two years, since Q2, 2022, when exports stood at 6.2 million barrels.
09-04-2024
The Syrian Salvation Government has started implementing several of the reforms that Abou Mohammad Al-Jolani, leader of Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, promised mid March in a bid to appease the protests that have filled in recent weeks Idlib’s streets in recent weeks. 
02-04-2024
Private sector electricity providers, using small power generators working on gas oil, are increasingly spreading across regime areas, after initially starting operating in the Aleppo governorate in 2013. Since then, they have expanded to the governorates of Damascus, Rural Damascus, Lattakia and Tartous.
02-04-2024
A week after the visit of high ranking officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency to Damascus re-establishing official communications with the government of Bashar Al-Assad, the Atomic Energy Commission of Syria and the Russian state nuclear corporation, Rosatom, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy.
26-03-2024
In 2023, Syrian exports of truffles amounted to USD 564,000, according to UN Comtrade, but this figure falls short from reflecting the real size of the trade industry due to undisclosed trade activities and smuggling practices. No Arab country appears as an importer of Syrian truffles in 2023, while Syrian officials have stated that Saudi Arabia is the main importer and Gulf countries a top destination for the Syrian truffle. Truffle hunters face landmines and ISIS attacks while picking this prized fungi in desertic areas, mostly in the Deir-ezz-Zor and Raqqa governorates.
26-03-2024
In a major shift in the Syrian banking landscape, Banque Bemo Saudi Fransi has taken over the stakes of Lebanon’s Byblos Bank SAL in its Syrian subsidiary, Byblos Bank Syria SA, leading to BYB's official departure from the Syrian market after 19 years operating in the country.
26-03-2024
The United Nations has proposed the establishment of a new entity, the Early Recovery Trust Fund (ERTF), that will deal with early recovery funds across all areas of control in Syria.
19-03-2024
President Bashar Al-Assad issued Law 11 of 2024 on March 13, merging the two state-owned textile organisations – the General Organisation for Cotton Ginning and Marketing and the General Organisation for Textile Industry – to establish the General Company for Textile Industry. The merger intends to cut costs, modernise management techniques and improve flexibility in production, contracting and trade operations.
19-03-2024
In a context where the industry lacks proper safety regulations and three-quarters of AANES revenues depend on oil production, business profitability comes at the expense of health and environmental rights. Since taking control of the oil fields in the northeast in 2018, the Syrian Democratic Forces have “contracted private businesses to run the oil fields in its territories to reduce operation costs,” and these actors rely on “primitive methods” to refine oil.
19-03-2024
This interview with NRC’s Regional Media and Communications Adviser is part of our series of in-depth interviews with key actors of Syria’s humanitarian and development sector.
12-03-2024
For years, Damascus has blamed sanctions for preventing the government from rebuilding its electricity infrastructure. However, in the last decade, Damascus has repaired several power plants and built new ones. Importing more fuel oil and using it to generate more electricity would be a solution if Damascus was not so reluctant to avoid increasing its subsidy bills. On top of that, Syria seems to be gradually gearing towards a scenario where a few powerful business actors benefit from using neighbourhood power generators and oppose the increase in production of the state utility.
12-03-2024
Recent official estimates show that the livestock sector in Syria, once a cornerstone of the agriculture sector and a key source of foreign currency, is caught in a steep decline, with sheep herds dropping by 41 percent between 2016 and 2022.
05-03-2024
Between February 22 and 24, around thirty Syrian entities linked to the electronic payment services field, namely banks, telecommunication companies and software companies, gathered in Aleppo to attend the First Conference and Exhibition for Electronic Payment in Syria. The conference, a first in Syria, was organised by the Syrian Computer Society, the Central Bank of Syria, and the Thiqa Company for Exhibitions and Conference.