Syrian pound hits record low, setting off hike in prices
DAMASCUS, Syria — The Syrian pound has hit a record low against the dollar, setting off a hike in prices in the war-torn country.
The pound was trading 660 to the dollar after reaching 690 pounds to $1 on the black market last week — lows never reached before.
The collapse of the Syrian pound is blamed on tougher Western sanctions, speculations, a drop in remittances from Syrians living abroad and because many are buying dollars to preserve their savings.
When Syria’s crisis began in March 2011, a dollar was valued at 47 pounds.
The crash of the pound could throw more Syrians into poverty as prices of food and other commodities rise. Eight out of 10 Syrians live below the poverty line, making less than $100 a month, according to the U.N.