Syria: Sanctions

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of international sanctions on the rise in food prices in Syria over one year.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State, The Minister of State, Department for International Development

We assess that the rise in food prices in Syria over the past year is primarily a result of the deteriorating economic situation in neighbouring Lebanon, whose economy is intrinsically linked to Syria's; the corresponding loss in the value of the Syrian pound; damage to agricultural areas and productivity due to war and fires in summer 2019; and latterly border closures related to COVID-19. We do not assess international sanctions to be a major factor: EU sanctions are carefully targeted on specific sectors and individuals, in order to minimise their impact on ordinary Syrians, and do not apply to the food sector. More generally, the ongoing conflict combined with mismanagement and corruption by the Assad regime explain most of the problems of the Syrian economy.

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