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Reforms Hurt Citizens and Economy - Official Report

27-Oct-09
By IWPR
An official report said that recent economic reforms in Syria led to a fall in people’s incomes, according to the official daily Al-Thawra in an October 25 article.



The report, which was drafted by the state’s planning commission to evaluate the first half of Syria’s latest five-year economic plan, said that the implementation of economic reforms had a “negative effect on incomes and expenditures”.



As an illustration, it said that the percentage of Syrians living under the line of “extreme poverty” has risen to more than 12 per cent and that the number of individuals living under the line of “general poverty” has also increased to around 34 per cent.



The report also criticised recent economic plans, arguing that the national economy today suffered from a poor environment for investments, the low productivity of the industrial sector and the low competitiveness of Syrian products on international markets.



The report said that public manufacturing facilities were facing difficulties because of the use of worn-out machines, high production costs, unskilled workers and the lack of investments. It added that on the other hand, the private industrial sector was developing.



The report also revealed that the problem of tap water pollution was increasing and no solution had been found. It added that the yearly share of every citizen of potable water has fallen under 747 cubic metres, which is way under the 1,000 cubic metres set as the standard water poverty line.



The agricultural sector was also facing challenges because of the reduction of cultivated area and the deterioration of the quality of land caused partly by climate change, it said.

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