Briefing note

The impact of Syria’s economic crisis on families

Published 04. May 2022
The Syria crisis now enters its 12th year. Syrians country wide still face multiple crises as instability hangs over the conflict-affected population. Syrians are experiencing one of the worst economic fallouts since the start of the conflict. The deep, drastic drop in Syria’s standard of living has caused a nation- wide shift in the way Syrians are living their lives. Millions of vulnerable families up and down the country have to make hard choices as part of this brutal fight for survival. A major rise in prices of goods and services across governorates has crushed people’s livelihoods and stripped them of viable options.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has interviewed hundreds of Syrian families who are internally displaced and returnees to understand the impact of the economic crisis on their lives in recent months. Beyond the statistics, it’s crucial to show what it means to live through this economic crisis across the country. The testimonies shared by Syrians from the north to the south through the centre of Syria paint a picture of struggle but also clarity on solutions needed. Our findings show that the majority of Syrians interviewed had to ration food, while over a quarter had to give up required medication because of unaffordable costs. A harsh winter season has found people burning old clothes and plastic bags to stay warm as fuel prices jumped further. As poverty continues to sweep across the country, decision-makers, donors and governments with influence over the crisis must not turn their attention away from Syria. Maintaining humanitarian assistance and increasing early recovery and resilience efforts in the country will help Syrians to cope with current and future challenges.