To inform humanitarian cash programming, REACH in partnership with the northeast (NES) and northwest (NWS)
Syria Cash Working Group (CWG) conducts monthly Market Monitoring Exercises in northern 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 collection took place between 7-14 December 2020 and was conducted by REACH, CARE, Concern, Global Communities, Danish Church Aid, Mercy Corps, People In Need, Solidarités International .
The accompanying data is disseminated monthly and is distributed through partners across the humanitarian community. See REACH Resource Centre for the December 2020 data.
Coverage and data collection dates
In December 2020, REACH and partners covered 28 subdistricts in northeast Syria (NES) for the Market Monitoring Exercise, including 1,947 individual shops. Please note that prices should be seen as representative only of the markets and dates where and when information was collected (7-14 December).
Highest northeast SMEB cost in SYP recorded
In December, the value of the regional SMEB reached 254,111 SYP, a 15% increase compared to November and a 27% increase since June 2020, setting the highest recorded price in the Market Monitoring Exercise in NES.
The SMEB in United States Dollars (USD) increased from 89 to 92 USD in December, corresponding with the depreciation of the SYP against the USD (see next paragraph).
Slight depreciation of the SYP against the USD
In December, the informal USD/SYP regional median exchange rate increased by 10%, reaching a regional median of 2,728 USD/SYP. The highest exchange rate was recorded at 2,800 SYP for 1 USD in both Sur and Sawa communities in Deir-ez-Zor governorate.
Prices increased for manually refined fuels; high quality fuels remained unavailable
Regional median prices for all manually refined fuels increased significantly in NES in December. The price of manually refined kerosene, primarily used for cooking and heating, increased by 45% since November, likely due to the depreciation of the SYP against the USD as well as to issues of availability. Prices for manually refined transport fuels also increased between November and December, with manually refined petrol increasing by 21% and manually refined diesel increasing by 73%. According to REACH field teams, in addition to the impacts of SYP depreciation, these price increases likely also result from reduced local production levels in some areas due to the high cost of raw materials as well as environmental restrictions imposed by local authorities. As in previous months, high quality transport fuels were reportedly widely unavailable in assessed markets due to continued lower level of imports from Iraq and Government of Syria-controlled areas. Ninety-three percent (93%) of fuel vendors reported that high quality diesel was not available in their market while 70% reported the same regarding high quality petrol. The price of high quality petrol also increased by 15% in December.