Syrian pound hits new low on black market amid fuel crisis

(File photo: Jordan News)
DAMASCUS Syria's nose-diving pound hit a new record low Saturday against the dollar on the black market, according to websites monitoring the exchange rate, as the country faces severe fuel shortages.اضافة اعلان

The Syrian economy has been battered by more than 11 years of war and crippling Western sanctions, pushing 90 percent of the population into poverty, according to the UN.

The exchange rate reached more than 6,000 Syrian pounds to the US dollar for the first time, the websites said, driving up the price of goods.

Syria's official exchange rate has stood at around 3,015 pounds to the greenback since September — compared to 47 pounds to the dollar in 2011.

The unofficial rate means the currency is now worth almost 99 percent less on the black market than the official rate before the start of the conflict.

Chronic fuel shortages in the war-torn country have intensified in recent weeks, prompting the government to adopt austerity measures including temporarily instating a reduced working week in the public sector.

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