Assad says reconstruction a greater challenge in post-crisis era

Photo: Assad says reconstruction a greater challenge in post-crisis era / Arabic region

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Saturday that post-crisis challenges, with reconstruction topping its agenda, are more serious than the current challenges, Xinhua reported.

Noting that the current challenges of the Syrian crisis are mainly radicalism and the presence of traitors, al-Assad said that finding suitable mechanisms of dialogue, fighting corruption and reconstruction are needed for the upcoming stage.

The reconstruction process is the most challenging factor for the next stage, he said, however, adding that the process will offer a great opportunity to reorganize the areas that have been damaged during the crisis, which would give the owners of the damaged properties a chance to improve their financial situation in addition to stimulating investment and creating job opportunities.

Recent reports said some two million housing units in Syria have been totally or partially destroyed during the country's 3- year-old crisis and the cost of their reconstruction is estimated at about 100 billion U.S. dollars.

Reconstruction is one of the pressing issues the Syrian government faces as displaced Syrians complain of the skyrocketing rent of apartments and inability to buy them in safe areas.

Rents in the slum have been driven up to an unimaginable level of about 30,000 Syrian pounds (about 200 dollars), while in the capital Damascus it soared from nearly 20,000 pounds (some 140 dollars) before the crisis to 80,000 pounds (around 560 dollars) for an apartment and exceeded 100,000 pounds (about 700 dollars) in upscale areas.

Syria's prolonged crisis has displaced millions of people, who either sought refuge inside the country or in neighboring countries.

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