To inform humanitarian cash programming, REACH and the Cash-Based Responses Technical Working Group (CBR-TWG) conduct monthly market monitoring throughout Syria to assess the availability and prices of 36 basic commodities that are typically sold in markets and consumed by average Syrian households, including food and non-food items, water, fuel, and cellphone data.
Of these, 18 items comprise the Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (SMEB), see below, which represents the minimum culturally adjusted items required to support a 6-person household for a month.
Data was collected this month by ACTED, CARE, Shafak, Concern, GOAL, Ihsan, IRC, Mercy Corps, People in Need, REACH, Solidarités International, STC Shafak Violet, and Watan.
Datasets are available on the REACH Resource Centre, the Humanitarian Data Exchange, and are also distributed through partners across the humanitarian community.
North: US dollar price fluctuates
The US dollar (USD) rate has increased in northwest by 2% and northeast Syria by 3%, since August 2018. The median exchange rate is 459 Syrian Pounds (SYP) to 1 USD and 461 SYP to 1 USD in northwest and northeast Syria, respectively. Both of these exchange rates are the highest recorded prices since April 2018 in the northwest and March 2018 in the northeast. Both northwest and northeast prices are significantly lower than a year ago at 511.25 and 510 SYP to 1 USD, respectively. The increases in the cost of USD to SYP can increase the cost of all SMEB items in USD and consequently increase the overall SMEB cost.
North: transport fuel increases
In northwest Syria there has been a reported increase in transport fuel (petrol and diesel) by 4% to a median price of 319 SYP per litre. These increases in prices were reportedly due to road closures and due to the associated costs of importing petrol from Turkey. In northeast Syria, transport fuel prices have increased by 46% to a median price of 170 SYP per litre. Fuel prices have reportedly increased in some sub-districts due to winter approaching and a higher demand of fuel for heating.
Northeast: cellphone data prices fluctuate
Throughout north Syria cellphone data prices have fluctuated. In northeast Syria there has been a 0% change in median price since August 2018, however, Al-Malikeyyeh had a reported decrease in price by 78% to 1,000 SYP per GB. In conctrast there was a large increase in he sub-district Karama, which reported a 64% increase in price to 4,096 SYP per gigabyte (GB), since August 2018. These fluctuations in price by sub-district and since August 2018 are reportedly due to current and previous deals on cellphone data.
Northwest: water prices increase
Within north Syria, water prices have reportedly increased. The reported median price in northwest Syria was 2,455 SYP, which has increased by 5% since August 2018. In the sub-district Bennsh water trucking prices have increased dramatically, by 47% to 1,980 SYP per 4,500 L. The increases in water trucking prices may be associated with the increases in transport fuel costs.
North: winterisation items
During this market monitoring round, 10 winterisation items were introduced including men’s, women’s and children’s winter jackets and boots, adult and children’s winter hats as well as mattresses and winter blankets. These items will be included over the winter months in northwest Syria and northeast Syria.