DARAMSUQ — In a desperate attempt to increase his popularity and appease the Syrian people who have suffered greatly from poverty, unemployment, and hunger throughout his years in power, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued two legislative resolutions on Sunday increasing salaries and wages paid to civil and military workers and retirees in ministries, departments, public institutions, and other public sector and joint sector companies and facilities by 50%.
In addition, the general minimum wage for private, cooperative, and joint sector workers not covered by the basic law for workers has been increased to 71,515 Syrian Pounds (SYP) per month.
However, the increase in the wages and salaries is likely to do little to offset the increase in the prices of goods and services — such as fuel, bread, and medicines — sufficiently to help alleviate suffering caused by a collapsing economy.
Trading at 47 SYP to 1 USD prior to the civil war, the strength of the currency has plummeted over the years, dropping to a low of 4,000 SYP to 1 USD in March of this year. Syrian families need hundreds of thousands of pounds a month to meet their most basic needs.