The Syrian government is imposing a new 'reconstruction tax' on shawarma sandwiches
Bombings aren't the only thing residents in Syria have to worry about. (AFP/File)
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As Syria's war grinds on, Damascus' debts keep piling. This week, that's apparent in a newly introduced tax by the Syrian government—on shawarma sandwiches.
As the Guardian reports, Syria's tourism industry has begun taxing restaurants based off the number of customers they have. The new tax may seem minimal on its own, it's part of an ongoing struggle for residents still living in Syria to find basic necessities. Bread prices have shot up in areas across the country three times since 2014, and water and electricity prices are also on the rise.
“Last week I had to pay 220 Syrian pounds (US$1) for my shawarma sandwich instead of 200 and the restaurant owner told me it was because there’s a new 10% ‘reconstruction tax’ that’s being imposed on each sandwich,” 50-year-old Damascus resident Tahseen told Agence France-Presse.
Rising prices have been a less-discussed effect of the country's civil war. But they've been equally diasterous. Back in June, humanitarian aid organizations said a fuel blockade imposed by Daesh in northern Syria forced agencies to either halt or significantly slow relief activisties in beseigned areas.
Hospitals in Hama, Latakia, Idlib and Aleppo faced closures over the measure, while water pumps stopped functioning with the lack of electricity.