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: SMEB costs diverge regionally
The SMEB cost has increased in northwest Syria by 5% to 56,068 SYP since September 2018. While this is the highest cost observed in the past 4 months, the cost is 13% lower compared to October 2017 (62,034 SYP).
In northeast Syria the SMEB for non-water trucking communities has risen for the third consecutive month increasing by 2% to 58,540 SYP since September 2018, however, the complete SMEB has decreased by 3% to 59,966 SYP. Throughout north Syria the SMEB price has been fluctuating over the past year with the October SMEB price reported as the highest price in northwest Syria since May 2018, but the lowest price reported since July 2018 in northeast Syria.
North: SMEB food costs increase
Throughout north Syria SMEB food prices have increased since September 2018. In northwest Syria prices have increased for the third consecutive month rising to 38,450 SYP since September 2018. However, compared to October 2017, the cost has decreased by 8%. Individual food prices have fluctuated but in particular, in northwest Syria sub-district Kafr Takharim, there was a 75% increase in the price of bread, reportedly due to less support from humanitarian organisations in providing flour. Whereas in northeast Syria there has been a 2% increase since May 2018, six months ago, to 43,424 SYP in October 2018. Since October 2017 costs in the northeast have been stable with a slight decrease of 2%.
North: winterisation items fluctuate
Winterisation prices have fluctuated with winter blanket increasing the most at a median 115% and 65% in the northwest and northeast, respectively. Winter item prices have fluctuated throughout the north due to store competition and as some stores are selling last years clothing items at a lower price and this years new styles at a higher price. However, winterisation items are reportedly not in stock in all locations yet due to the seasonality of the items. Furthermore, according to key informants humanitarian distributions of winter items have reportedly forced stores to lower prices to sell items.
Northwest: SMEB hygiene item prices increase
SMEB hygiene prices have steadily decreased over the past year, however, this trend has changed as prices increased by 13% since September 2018 to 4,275 SYP.
Northeast: water prices decrease
Within northeast Syria, water prices have reportedly decreased by 26% to 3,015 SYP 4,500 litres, after steady increases since April 2018 and a peak in prices in September 2018. In Deir-ez-Zor sub-district Sur, water trucking prices have decreased dramatically by 82% to 900 SYP per 4,500 litres, since September 2018.