Assessing the Impact of the Conflict on the Syrian Economy and Looking Beyond

Mohamed Hedi Bchir, Abdallah al-Dardari
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"This paper aims to chart the potential main challenges for post-conflict reconstruction in the Syrian Arab Republic. To do so, the economic and social impact of the crisis must first be assessed. Using loss estimates and the most recent available data from government and other sources, this report is based on a realistic order of magnitude of the losses. The main technical tool used is a disaggregated social accounting matrix (SAM) on the Syrian Arab Republic prepared by ESCWA in 2007. Information for the new SAM comes mainly from the World Bank’s 2006 Input Output (IO) table, which focuses on the energy sector, and the SAM put together in 2008 by the United Nations Development Programme, which focuses on agriculture and food processing. Other sources, including national accounts, the government budget, data on labour and the balance of payments, as well as agricultural statistics and the annual statistical abstract, have been used mainly to update information in the IO table and SAMs. The report uses a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model for the simulation. The first section outlines a baseline scenario. The next section provides an assessment of the impact on the economy and specific sectors thereof of the first years of the conflict (2011-2013). The following section looks at the impact of two further years of conflict on growth, unemployment, specific sectors of production and the fiscal situation. In the final section, the report looks at the public investment required to return to the pre- crisis level of gross domestic product (GDP) and the fiscal and macroeconomic implications of such an investment programme."

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