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CCTV Script 22/02/16

– This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on February 22, Monday.

Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.

Once a promising economy and even a destination for refugees from other conflicts, Syria has been in humanitarian and economic crisis since its civil war that began in 2011.

According to data provided by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 55,000 people were killed in 2015.

The conflict, now in its fifth year, has left more than 250,000 dead.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 3 million have fled to Syria's immediate neighbours Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. 6.5 million are internally displaced within Syria.

A report published by the Carnegie Middle East Center says that at the end of 2014, 82 percent of Syrian people lived in poverty, while 2.96 million people had lost their jobs because of the war.

Unemployment surged to 58 percent, according to the [Syrian Center for Policy Research] SCPR.

The country's economy has been hit hard - vegetable production in Hama has dropped by 60 percent because of the conflict, while olive oil production has plummeted by 40 percent. Likewise, nationwide wheat production plunged from 4 million tons a year to around 2 million tons.

The oil industry has been hurt badly as well.

Before the European Union suspended crude imports in September 2011, Syria produced about 380,000 barrels a day, according to then Oil Minister Sufian Alao. Production has since collapsed, with Islamic State and other militant groups using limited supplies for their own operations.

Now, as OPEC countries are discussing a potential agreement to freeze the production level, it's hard to say if opposing stances on Syria would ultimately bring down the deal.

According to the report by Carnegie, the continuing deterioration of the Syrian economy witnessed in the past four and a half years will accelerate in 2016.

Fundamentally, the Syrian economy suffers from several curses: the destruction of the country's physical infrastructure and productive capacity; the outflow of financial and human capital; the fragmentation of the territory and the disruption of trade and other business networks; the collapse of state institutions and services in areas outside regime control; and Western sanctions.

Provided the war goes on, these factors will continue to weigh on the economic situation.

CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.

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