Experts Urge Geneva II Parties to Seize Historic Opportunity to Stop Crisis, ESCWA Report: Syria Loses 10 Million Syrian Pounds a Minute
Enab Baladi Issue # 101– Sun, Jan. 27, 2014
As the impact of the ongoing so-called “war against terrorism” by Al Assad regime has largely affected the Syrian infrastructure; the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) issued a report showing the serious economic dislocation recorded in the past three years.
The report stated that Syria is losing 10 Million Syrian Pounds ($70,000) every minute; moreover, every hour 300 people flee their homes; 9,000 people fall below the poverty line eachday; 2,500 people succumb to abject poverty unable to buy their daily bread; 10,000 people lose their jobs every week; and 6,000 people die every month.
According to the report, Syria has lost 37 years in development over three years and has witnessed a decline across all development indicators to reach the second lowest ranking among all Arab countries; which indicates that “Every additional day of conflict costs the country US$109 million in GDP, worsens the drawback and increases difficulties for recovery”.
With 38% of students falling outside the educational system, and with unemployment reaching 42%, it is no longer distinguishable how to recover infrastructure and how to rebuild civil groups and organizations.
Thus basically, with each year the crisis continues, the country is now set back eight years in development in all aspects; today a quarter of the people of the country which have been growing wheat for 12 centuries fail to secure their daily bread.
The regime couldn’t deny these figures; however, to save face, the government held “terrorists” responsible for losses in services sector.
Mr. Hassan Zainab, deputy oil minister, says that the oil sector has suffered a 1600-billion-Syrian pound loss; he contributed the loss to the fact that most oil wells are located in rebel-held areas which resulted in a reduction in oil production from 385,000 barrels per day to 13,000 bpd.
Similarly, and due to the shelling of most services centers, and the ongoing clashes between regime forces and opposition fighters, the electricity sector sustained losses that exceeded 18 billion Syrian pounds in 2013; and 23 billion S.P in 2012.
The devastating figures were released in an attempt to bring the world into awareness of the catastrophic situation, and to seize the opportunity of the gathering of 45 international parties concerned with reaching a political resolution in Syria in Geneva II.
Experts are to present their findings to both Syrian delegations at the conference during the talks, in the hope that concerns over the future of Syria and attempts to save what is left to be saved will contribute to reaching a settlement.