The damage to the Syrian economy from the country’s ongoing conflict has reached S£2,803bn ($20.46bn at the current official rate of $1=S£137), according to official Syrian government figures.

But not only does the ongoing conflict make such figures guesses at best – never mind the fact that large ports of the country are outside government control – 80% of these losses (S£2,244bn, $16.38bn) come under the rather nebulous rubric of ‘indirect losses.’ This is a reference to what could be called ‘revenue forgone,’ for example the difference in value between the meager volumes of oil and gas Syria has actually been producing (see p7) and the volumes Syria would have produced without a conflict. Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister for Services and Local Administration ‘Umar Ghalawanji, giving the figures on 30 September, valued direct losses to public property and infrastructure at S£559bn ($4.08bn). (CONTINUED - 551 WORDS)