Residents of al-Haddadiya, 30 km south of the city of Hasakah, northeastern Syria, are complaining about a huge rise in the prices of food and goods in light of their weak ability to buy their daily needs, while the town's Supply Committee has punished merchants who were found to be manipulating prices.
Ismail Abdul Rahman, a resident of al-Haddadiya, said that most residents are unable even to provide bread and other essential materials they cannot live without.
He told North-Press: "The price of a kilo of tea has reached 15,000 SYP, and one liter of oil reached 2,000 SYP as prices continue to rise, and we buy water at a cost of 3,500 SYP for every five barrels."
Al-Haddadiya is located on the eastern bank of Khabur River, where about 28 villages belong to the town with a population of about 50,000 people. The town has a popular market frequented by residents, on which merchants from the areas of Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor depend for the discharge of their goods.
Louay al-Gharbi, a 27-year-old teacher from al-Hanna village in al-Haddadiya, said he could not provide for his family of six, saying, "I earn a salary of 75,000 SYP every month."
Mohamed al-Obian, a resident of al-Shaddadi who works in a grocery store in al-Haddadiya market, complained that the customers accused them of monopolizing and manipulating prices, "Most of the time, the residents accuse us of raising and manipulating with prices; they swear at us.”
He added: "We don’t manipulate prices, but rather the rise is due to the depreciation of the value of the Syrian pound," noting that the prices of goods and commodities that they buy from wholesale merchants differs from time to time, according to the rise or fall in the value of the US dollar exchange against the Syrian pound.
The prices of various food commodities are witnessing a noticeable rise in the markets of North and East Syria due to the rapid collapse of the value of the Syrian pound against foreign currencies and commodities, which led to a weakening of purchasing power and a decline in market movement.
Since the beginning of 2020, the exchange rate of the US dollar against the Syrian pound increased by 60% as the Syrian pound ended the 2019 dealings in the black market at 915 SYP against one dollar, while yesterday its exchange rate reached 1,795 SYP, according to exchange companies in the city of Qamishli.
Khalil Ahmed, an official in the Supply Committee that tracks sales in the town’s market, attributed one of the reasons for the high prices to the monopoly of some big merchants of foodstuffs and food commodities, which greatly affects the markets, in addition to the main cause: the collapse of the value of the Syrian pound.
Ahmed told North-Press: "We made several field tours inside the markets, and we managed to fine a number of traders who were proven to have manipulated prices in the town market."