The national average price of a standard reference food basket increased by 13 percent between November and December 2020, reaching SYP 111,676 (USD 89 at the official exchange rate 1,250/USD).
Families’ heating diesel entitlement decreased from 200 litres per month to 100 litres per month across nine governorates. Hereby causing the price of informal heating diesel to increase by 20 percent between November and December 2020, reaching SYP 1,050/litre.
Key-food items prices like red split lentils and vegetable oil have increased by 16 and 15 percent, respectively.
The SYP/USD informal exchange rate depreciated by a further 6 percent in December 2020, reaching a monthly national average of SYP 2,795/US dollar. The official exchange rate remained unchanged at SYP 1,250/US dollar.
Syria’s Central Bureau of Statistics reported an average inflation rate of 200 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, with goods inflation reaching 300 percent.
Standard Food Basket
The price of a standard reference food basket1 showed no sign of stabilizing in December. The national average price of a standard food basket increased by 13 percent compared to November 2020, reaching SYP 111,676. This is the highest national average rate yet since WFP started monitoring prices in Syria in 2013. The national average food basket price was 33 percent higher than the price recorded in June 2020 (six months ago) as well as being 236 percent higher compared to the level recorded in December 2019 (Figure 1).
The increase in the food basket price is mainly led by the depreciation of the Syrian pound in the informal market as well as the price increase of key food-items. For example the price of red split lentils and vegetable oil have increased by 16 and 15 percent, respectively, between November and December 2020. Moreover, renewed fuel shortages across Syria have further contributed to the food basket price increase.
Month-on-month (m-o-m), all 14 governorates in Syria reported an increasing average reference food basket price in December 2020. The highest m-o-m increase of 18 percent was reported in Aleppo reaching SYP 119,563, while the lowest increase of two percent was reported in Quneitra reaching SYP 104,623.
December 2020, marked the first time that all governorates reported an average standard food basket price at above SYP 100,000. The increases are in -line with recent reports from Syria’s Central Bureau of Statistics reporting an average inflation rate of 200 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, with goods inflation reaching 300 percent