WASHINGTON-(MaraviPost)—The latest World Bank report estimates that as of early 2017, the conflict in Syria damaged or destroyed about a third of the housing units and about half of medical and education facilities, and led to significant economic losses.
In a report released on Tuesday and made available to the Maravi Post, discloses that the breakdown of systems that organize both the economy and society, along with the trust that binds people together, has had a greater economic impact than the destruction of physical infrastructure.
The Bank’s report titled, “The Toll of War: The Economic and Social Consequences of the Conflict in Syria,” provides a detailed analysis of the physical damage caused by the war, the impact of loss of lives and the forced displacement of the population, the effect on the economy and the overall condition of the Syrian people.
The report further finds that the longer the conflict continues, the more persistent will be the impact, making recovery and reconstruction harder.
Six years of conflict in Syria has taken a severe toll on the country’s people, where over 400,000 people estimated dead, and over half the population driven from their homes in what is the largest refugee crisis since World War II.
The report finds that on average of 538,000 jobs, were destroyed annually during the first five years of the conflict, and that young people face an unemployment rate of 78 percent and they have few options for survival.
To calculate the extent of the damage, the report relied on satellite imagery that was cross-checked with traditional and social media postings, data from the ongoing Syria Damage Assessment, and information from partner organizations that have a presence in the country.
Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, disclosed that the war in Syria is tearing apart the social and economic fabric of the country.
“The number of casualties is devastating, but the war is also destroying the institutions and systems that societies need to function, and repairing them will be a greater challenge than rebuilding infrastructure – a challenge that will only grow as the war continues,” said Ghanem.
The specific targeting of health facilities by the warring sides, has significantly disrupted the health system, with communicable diseases, such as polio reemerging. It is estimated that more Syrians are dying from lack of access to healthcare, than as a direct result of the fighting.
The education system has similarly, been disrupted by damage to facilities and the use of schools as military installations, while fuel shortages has reduced the supply of electricity to major cities to about two hours per day, affecting a range of basic services.