2023 Budget brief

The 2023 State budget in Syria

Hadeel, 2, participates in a recreational activity provided by UNICEF-supported volunteers in Abdul Muttaleb Al Qad School, on 15 February 2023.
UNICEF/UN0796312/Muhannad Al-Asadi


This brief provides an analysis of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic’s approved budget estimates for the 2023 fiscal year, with a particular focus on sectors that matter most for children, namely education, health, water and sanitation, and social affairs.

This budget brief aims to (i) synthesize complex budget information and make it reader-friendly for dissemination; and (ii) present key messages and recommendations for various stakeholders. The 2023 budget brief highlights the following critical observations:

  • Public expenditures continue to fall. Compared to the pre-conflict level, the 2023 budget is less than one-quarter of its 2011 level and equals about US$ 5.88 billion or US$ 256 per capita.
  • Although the Government of Syria has decreed several bonuses over the last two years and salaries have been doubled in August, the public salaries share of the 2023 budget has dropped sharply. Given that the state remains the largest employer in Syria, it could contribute to the deterioration of civil servants’ living conditions and unemployment.
  • The ever-declining share of investment expenditures underscores the growing challenges the Government of Syria faces in mobilizing domestic resources necessary beyond the immediate needs of the state.
  • A growing share of the allocations goes to the health sector, while allocations to education, water and sanitation, and social support are decreasing. Throughout the conflict, allocations to the education sector have dropped dramatically; the share of the overall budget dropped from 5.8 per cent in 2019 to 3.8 per cent this year.
  • Foreign aid is becoming increasingly important in Syria. Aid in the health sector is now slightly higher than the government allocations. The relative importance of aid is growing in the education sector. Aid is now four times larger than government allocations to the water and sanitation sector.
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