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Syria more than doubles gas prices: Ministry

#Syria #doubles #gas #prices #Ministry

Syria’s Interior Trade Ministry has announced a roughly 130 percent increase in petrol prices in the war-torn country, which is facing fuel shortages and prolonged power outages.

The cost of a liter of subsidized fuel will increase from previously 1,100 to 2,500 Syrian pounds, a 127 percent increase, the ministry said in a statement quoted by official news agency SANA late Saturday.

The cost of unsubsidized petrol will rise from 3,500 to 4,000 Syrian pounds, the ministry added.

The hikes mark the third time this year that authorities have hiked fuel prices as the Syrian pound continues to depreciate.

Syria’s currency is trading at around 4,250 to the dollar on the black market, compared to an official rate of 2,814.

“This measure will affect everyone,” said Raed al-Saadi, a warehouse worker. “Our salary now is only enough to get us to work and not even to get us back home.”

“Life has become very difficult and I don’t know where this situation will take us,” added the 48-year-old.

Since war broke out in 2011, Syria’s oil and gas sector has suffered tens of billions of dollars in losses.

The economy has been hit hard by both the long-running war and the sanctions imposed on Damascus.

A UN commission in March called for a review of sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, fearing the measures would hit ordinary people too hard.

The conflict in Syria began in 2011 with the brutal repression of peaceful protests and escalated to captivate foreign powers and global jihadists.

It killed around 500,000 people and displaced about half of the country’s pre-war population.

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