DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) – Syrian President Bashar Assad on Sunday issued a decree granting hundreds of thousands of civil servants and military personnel a 50% pay rise amid the economic and financial crisis and rising prices of vital products.
Assad’s move came a day after the state doubled the price of bread, the country’s main staple, and raised the price of diesel fuel by 180%.
The Syrian economy has been hit hard by a decade of war, Western sanctions, widespread corruption and, more recently, a severe economic and financial crisis in neighboring Lebanon. The last salary increase was announced in November 2019.
The decree issued by Assad’s office set the minimum monthly income at 71,515 Syrian pounds ($ 22). It also granted military and civilian pensioners a 40% increase in retirement pensions.
The US dollar trades at around 3,200 pounds on the black market while the official rate is 2,500 pounds.
Almost 80% of Syrians live in poverty and 60% are food insecure – the worst food security situation ever seen in Syria, according to the United Nations.