Assessment of Development Results - Syria

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This report on Syria’s Assessment of Development Results (ADR) focuses on the following three thematic areas: fostering democratic governance; achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and reducing poverty under a human development perspective; and ensuring environmental sustainability. Reflecting on the characteristics of Syria’s economic history, its current juncture and prospects, the ADR examined the past with a forward-looking perspective.



Challenges of transition in Syria

Since 2000, the situation in Syria is best described as one of cautious reform, where there are some signs that a climate for reform is being allowed to develop. Various quarters of Syrian leadership have recognized the need for economic reform, particularly in the unwieldy public sector. This sector cannot be financed by an economy in which a high percentage of revenue income derives from stagnating or shrinking sectors. Agriculture, though still a significant sector, is also shrinking, and oil is no longer viewed as a reliable long-term revenue earner. Furthermore, as indicated earlier, ODA to Syria constitutes a relatively small proportion of the country’s spending on development, and has in fact been decreasing over the past years. Syria is thus challenged with reforming its economy in ways that allow for greater economic diversification and a more solid national economic base, while at the same time taking into account fluctuations in net ODA flows and an eventual dwindling reliance on the oil sector as a major foreign currency earner.


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