A Syrian Lesson in Detachment from Reality: Ignoring the Economic Collapse.

A Syrian Lesson in Detachment from Reality: Ignoring the Economic Collapse.

What is the reality you imagine when the executive authorities in a country talk about topics such as: alternative energy, service automation, and attracting investment? Such topics can be sub-tasks in the agenda of a region or local government within a stable country. However, surprisingly, they are main topics in Syria 2021: the year that is witnessing the most severe socio-economic collapse within the ten years of the greatest humanitarian disaster after WW2!

In the past week, the people of a Syrian village shut down roads to get their sufficient share of subsidized bread, which the resolution of the “settlement of bread” deprived them from! The authorities who issued these resolutions assured that they are determinant and will continue in this direction, considering it (within service automation and a tool to redistribute subsidies to those entitled to it). The realistic result of the policy of (distributing subsidies) is that in a country with 12 million people between the jaws of hunger, the number of subsidized loaves of bread is being reduced by two-thirds per capita in one resolution. Moreover, receiving this depleted amount has become conditional to being present in a specific time and place, and if you changed that, you will lose your daily share!

Also, in the same week, the association of professions related to cheese and diary in Damascus announced that the current situation of electricity and fuel will lead to a loss of 80% in production and that this loss will be charged to the prices of the remaining 20%. This is just an example of the deterioration of production related to the collapse of the energy system! In the midst of this, resolutions of financing alternative energy and its import conditions are being discussed, while the far and wide know that PV at individual generation levels is of weak financial feasibility, as it can only cover lighting needs for the building with a cost that approximates the cost of securing all the needs of the artisanal electricity consumption with current energy bills. Generally, it is strange to discuss the supplement of alternative energy for the electricity system amidst disregard to the (breakdown of the electricity system without fuel).

Beyond that, the whole world stands to say that Syria is the biggest humanitarian disaster, divided by a de facto division, is an international conflict point where five regional and international armies are involved, is subject to sanctions, is the least secure and stable place in the world, and is witnessing the highest rates of displacement until today and the lowest rates of income and consumption. Amidst all that, there are discussions about attracting investment and laws for investors! While facts say that major companies with a monopoly market share such as MTN are leaving the Syrian market “because work has become unbearable”. Even investment contracts with Russian and Iranian private companies are frozen and not implemented despite the exceptional benefits given by 70% of revenues. Moreover, the new migration wave has appeared in the business sector and local investors. Finally, even investors from warlords who launder their money in major real-estate investments are freezing and slowing down their business as shown in the luxurious hotels of Damascus, its promising housing organizations, and its major projects. Amidst all that, what kind of realism about attracting investors as a main topic is in the policy of this stage?!

Realistically, Syria needs a rescue plan to stop the socio-economic deterioration, and particularly exceptional measures to ensure an increase in energy and food production. Two main topics: energy transmission for production, and the fight against hunger, to secure the minimum for the continuation of socio-economic life. In Syria today, electricity should be generated and energy should reach power plants that are ready to secure the necessary energy. Also, the system of local agriculture, manufacturing and trade must provide a necessary food basket for everyone at a reduced price. Why do these topics not appear in the speeches and plans of the influential? Because this requires mobilizing resources concentrated in corruption, and it requires preventing them from being swallowed up again through corruption. Both are the first and most important political objectives today for Syria to exist, but there is no capacity and no will to achieve such objectives in the current structure. Spreading false hopes to gain time is what is taking place and nothing more.

(Arabic Version)

Last modified on Monday, 30 August 2021 23:00
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