POVERTY IN SYRIA 1996 - 2004


This report is the first output from an ongoing process of collaboration between the Government of Syria, UNDP, and other national and international stakeholders to devise a poverty reduction strategy for Syria. The targeted audience is policymakers and advisors in the government, civil society at large and partners in Syriaís development process. The report presents a diagnostic analysis of the extent and determinants of poverty in Syria since the latter half of the 1990s. It also proposes broad socio-economic measures that could be considered by Syrian decision makers in formulating the national five-year plan and any macroeconomic framework for poverty reduction. Still, it is merely a first analytical step in a complex process that devises a more detailed set of local and sectoral strategies required to tackle poverty alleviation.

And The main investigators of this report were Heba El-Laithy (Principal Investigator) and Khalid Abu-Ismail (UNDP Regional Adviser on Macroeconomics and Poverty, Sub-Regional Resource Facility for Arab States).

The findings of this study are based primarily on data from two surveys: the Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) in 1996-1997 and 2003-2004. In addition, national accounts data, as well as other secondary data available from government sources, were used.

The reportís principal finding is that, in 2003-2004, almost 2 million individuals in Syria (11.4 per cent of the population) could not obtain their basic food and non-food needs. Using higher expenditure poverty line, overall poverty in Syria rises to 30.1 per cent, representing almost 5.3 million individualsIn addition, the report identifies seven other major trends and characteristics related to changes in the scope and distribution of poverty in Syria over the period from 1996 to 2004.

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