The Syrian pound has continued to bleed losses that it has begun against the US dollar since the beginning of the armed conflict in 2011, and on Sunday recorded a historic decline.
Syria is in a bad economic situation amid currency shortages, shortages of services and goods, rising inflation and unemployment figures, amid the collapse of the local currency against foreign currencies.
Traders and bankers said the Syrian pound plunged to a new record high on Sunday as the dollar scrambles to buy in a country severely affected by sanctions and facing a severe foreign exchange shortage.
Traders confirmed that the price of the dollar on the black market reached 3450 lira on Sunday, which is more than 18% below its price at the end of last month.
According to Reuters, the last quick fall of the lira was last summer when it broke the psychological barrier of 3,000 lira to the dollar because of fears that the imposition of more severe U.S. sanctions would further worsen the plight of the country’s crumbling economy.
Syria has been under western sanctions for years as well as a grinding civil war.
A senior Damascus-based trader said the dollar rose after demand outstripped supply after months of relative stability at 2500.
“There is a lot of demand for the dollar, but hard currency is not available,” a deal in Aleppo said.
The dollar was worth 47 lira before protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule in March 2011 in unrest that led to war.
The losses of the Syrian economy from 2011 to the beginning of this year amounted to $530 billion, which is 9.7 times the gdp of 2010 at constant prices.
According to a study by the Syrian Center for Studies Research, the country’s public debt rose by about 208% relative to GDP, the loss of the local currency (Syrian lira) about 97% of its value over several years, in addition to the country’s unemployment rate of 42%.