Remittances News

The Iraqi Federal Government stopped issuing work visas for Syrians in January and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) followed suit, halting issuing not only work but also tourist visas for Syrian nationals as of March 29. These recent decisions restricting the possibility of Syrians to visit or reside in Iraq and the Iraqi Kurdistan region mark a shift in the until-now ‘welcoming’ policy environment towards Syrian refugees since the onset of the Syrian conflict. This move is expected to slash the flow of remittances from Syrians working in Iraq, a country that is hosting 263,920 Syrian refugees.
Over the last year, aid and funds have poured into the governorates heavily affected by the quake (Aleppo, Hama, Idlib, Lattakia and Tartous), but the significant needs remain unmet.   
The Central Bank of Jordan has tightened money transfers from Jordan to Syria by reverting the easement of conditions adopted in March 2023 in the aftermath of the February 6 earthquake. The Jordanian move can be seen as a way to avoid international sanctions.
Syria recorded an annual inflation rate of 84.9 percent in 2022, compared to an average of 5.1 percent in the rest of Arab countries and 8.5 percent recorded globally, according to the Annual Bulletin of the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, published on October 12. The hike in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages contributed to 41.3 percent of last year’s general inflation, followed by the housing, water, electricity and gas category, then transportation and health.
On the occasion of recent protests in Suweida, the following is a background on Suweida, its demographics, geography, and the state of government and private investments in the governorate.
The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria has issued a law regulating the operations of foreign exchange dealers as the sector gains increasing importance. The law’s timing is a reminder of the importance of remittances for the Syrian economy and of foreign exchange dealers at a time western sanctions are restricting the operations of local banks.
Since the catastrophic earthquakes devastated parts of northern Syria one week ago, killing 5,800 people, injuring thousands, leaving 5.30 million homeless, and destroying infrastructure and residential buildings, the regime, opposition authorities, and local organisations began carrying out disaster relief efforts in affected areas. 
Protests against rising living costs in the Suweida governorate have continued into the start of the new year, pushing the government to temporarily recall the province’s governor in a rare political move and to increase military salaries. Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Syria has devalued the exchange rate of the Syrian pound by more than 50 percent.