As the Syrian regime has been consolidating its power with the assistance of its allies, Russia and Iran, in the past few years, Damascus also envisioned the issue of reconstruction as a major instrument for the consolidation of its power and networks of influence, while promoting new areas of investments and economic opportunities. In this perspective, it enacted a series of decrees and laws to frame and benefit from the reconstruction. These large real estate projects were expected to attract foreign capital, crucial for Syria reconstruction. However, several challenges, internal and external, continue to prevent a wide reconstruction process and the welcoming of foreign funding.
The cost of reconstruction was estimated between USD 260 and 400 billion at the beginning of 2019.2 The vast and widespread destruction and damage throughout the country has had deep and negative repercussions on the Syrian economy, with the GDP decreasing from $60.2 billion in 2010 to $17.1 billion in 2017, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. The costs of repairing this damage are quite daunting. The Syrian government was lacking funds to tackle the high level of destruction throughout the country. Its annual budget in 2019 did not exceed SYP 3.882 trillion, around $8.9 billion. In that same budget, the amount allocated for reconstruction was 50 billion Syrian pounds, no more than $115 million.
Author: Dr. Joseph Daher
Publication Date: 2020