As the Syrian civil war enters its fourth year, the Syrian Deputy Prime Minister for Services and Minister for Local Administration ‘Umar Ghalawanji puts the damage to the economy from March 2011 to date at S£3,250bn ($21.7bn): S£2,528bn ($16.9bn) in indirect costs and S£722bn ($4.8bn) in direct costs. This is up over $5bn from the $16.5bn figure PM Wail al-Halqi gave in October, but little more than a fifth on the UN’s $103bn estimate in a fall 2013 report, a figure which included business closure and bankruptcy, capital flight, looting and destruction of property (MEES, 1 November 2013).

For the first time the Syrian opposition has also given its estimate for the cost of reconstructing Syria. The transitional government’s ‘Finance Minister’ Ibrahim Miro put the preliminary price tag at $100bn. In an interview with the Arabic daily al-Hayat of 20 January, Mr Miro claimed that Iran had granted the Syrian government $15bn. (CONTINUED - 293 WORDS)