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Irregularity of smart card function deprives Syria’s Aleppo residents of allocations

ALEPPO, Syria (North Press) – Amjad Bahsiti, a retired employee and a father of three, residing in Salaheddin neighborhood, in the city of Aleppo, has not received sugar for months due to the neglect of the Syrian Trading Company and the irregularity of the process of the smart card of the al-Takamul Company.  

He told North Press that he has not received the message to get his allocations form al-Takamul Company since December 2020, so he was forced to buy his needs twice at three times the prices of the company.

Residents in the city of Aleppo accused the Syrian Trading Company and al-Takamul of depriving them of their allocations of the rationed foodstuff for four months due to the neglect of the Syrian Trading Company and the irregularity of the al-Takamul function.

The Syrian Trading Company, which was established by the Syrian government in 2017, is providing supply allocations of sugar and rice via “smart card.”

In April, tea was removed from the allocations’ list and vegetable oil was added recently.

Failed mechanism   

Families in Aleppo described the mechanism of sending messages by al-Takamul Company as “failed”, as they have not received any message for four months.

The Syrian Trading Centers in Aleppo provide sugar for the residents at 500 Syrian pound (SYP) per one kilogram, rice for 600 SYP per one kilogram, whereas tea at 1,200 SYP per one kilogram, according to its type and quality.

Noura Tahhan, a mother of two orphans from Bistan al-Qasr neighborhood, has not received her allocations from the Syrian Trading Company since she obtained a smart card four months ago.

Tahhan works at a private sewing workshop for a salary that does not exceed 85,000 SYP per month.

“I went to them a week ago; they told me to change my reception center so that I can receive all of my allocations,” she said.  

The subscribers of al-Takamul program can change the reception centers once a month on the 29th day of the month where the subscribers’ data transfers to the new specified point.

“However, after I changed the center, I found out that I had lost my turn and will wait until my turn comes as my data are new here,” Tahhan added.   

“What kind of logic is that the rice is sold only in one center of the Syrian Trading Centers in all of Aleppo,” she wondered.

No messages

“Syrian Trading Centers in Aleppo work hard and al-Takamul Company proved its success in organizing the residents’ turn and ending the queues in front of the centers,” said Abdulhamid Muslim, Official in the Syrian Trading Company in Aleppo.

Muslim added that there are residents that do not receive a message on the date to deliver allocations as rice is included in the materials’ program.

The sugar is available only in Jibrin warehouse, “only those registered in this center can receive the message.”

“The residents have to change their requests on the al-Takamul program and cancel the rice so that they are notified within less than 24 hours of their turn to receive their allowances,” he added.

Rodin Hannan, a resident of the Ashrafiyeh neighborhood, expressed his rejection of the company in holding the residents responsible for not receiving their allowances.

“Al-Takamul Company is also responsible because it organizes the turn of the residents to receive their allowances, and if there is no rice in the subscriber’s registered center, why not automatically adjust the ordering options without depriving anyone of his share,” Hanan added.

Reporting by Ardo Haddad

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