• Syria finalises $1bn credit line from Iran
  • Tehran continues to support Syrian regime
  • GDP is estimated to have contracted by more than 50 per cent since the start of the conflict

Syria has signed a law ratifying a $1bn credit line from Iran, according to Syria’s state news agency SANA.

The fund, which was signed between the Syrian Commercial Bank and the Export Development Bank of Iran, will be used to help with the economic damage caused by the war.

Local reports say the government plans to spend the money on funding imports of goods and commodities, as well as state projects, although no details have been given.

Syria also received $3.6bn from Iran in 2013, as Tehran continues to support Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

The country’s GDP is estimated to have contracted by more than 50 per cent since the start of the conflict, and more than half of the labour force has become unemployed. Further to this, the war has brought imports by Iraq from and through Syria almost to a halt, down from 15-20 per cent of total imports in 2010. As such, food supply has been affected, contributing to an uptick in food inflation recently.

According to estimates by the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, the country’s GDP decreased by 3.4 per cent in 2011, 21.8 per cent in 2012 and 22.5 per cent in 2013, and more than 23 per cent in 2014, when it reached barely $35bn.

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