The civil war in Syria has led to a major deterioration in the economy, according to the economic consultant and member of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) Usama Qadi. Speaking to al-Sharq al-Awsat of 9 September, Dr Qadi, who is also head of the Washington-based Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies, warned that the Syrian economy is in “intensive care.”

The inflation rate is estimated at more than 100% (compared to the official rate of 36% in June) for some commodities, causing a decline in the standard of living of Syrians, he said. He estimated the country’s cash reserves at less than $1bn and said that given the ongoing attrition in the government’s military situation, the regime cannot survive for more than a few months. Syria is estimated to have had $18bn in foreign ex-change reserves at the start of the political turmoil in March 2011, according to officials and other analysts (MEES, 25 July 2011). (CONTINUED - 356 WORDS)