The Syrian government has introduced new rules limiting the amount of subsidised bread available per person at bakeries, putting larger families at risk of starvation as the country’s crippling economic crisis deepens.
Under a recent government order, a household of two is now entitled to just one packet of bread a day; a family of four to two packets; and a family of six to three packets. Families of seven or more people, however, are limited to four packets of bread, no matter how many are in the house.
Damascus introduced a new electronic “smartcard” system earlier this year which must be used to purchase bread at state-run bakeries. To buy more, families must turn to the black market, where prices now run at 500 Syrian pounds per packet, compared to 100 pounds for the government-subsidised bread.