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Syrian pound hits record low on black market

By AFP - Oct 11,2022 - Last updated at Oct 11,2022

DAMASCUS — Syria's pound hit a new low against the dollar on the black market Tuesday, according to websites monitoring the exchange rate, in the latest blow to the war-battered economy.

The exchange rate reached more than 5,000 Syrian pounds to the US dollar for the first time since the start of the conflict more than a decade ago, the websites said.

Syria's official exchange rate has stood at around 3,015 pounds to the greenback since September — compared to 47 pounds to the dollar before the war.

The new unofficial rate means the currency is now worth almost 99 per cent less on the black market than the official rate before the start of the conflict. 

Syria's economy has been battered by more than a decade of war, and is reeling from the knock-on effects of a financial crisis in neighbouring Lebanon that has stemmed the flow of dollars into government-held areas.

The collapse of the pound has driven up the price of goods and aggravated hardship.

The vast majority of Syria's population lives below the poverty line, the United Nation says.

An estimated 12.4 million people — about 60 per cent of Syria's population — suffer from food insecurity, according to the UN World Food Programme.

Syria's civil war has killed nearly half-a-million people and forced around half-of-the country's pre-war population from their homes.

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