Sept 10 - Syrian refugees in Jordan struggle as the value of the Syrian pound continues to drop, due to the ongoing war in their home country. David Pollard reports.
Money talks. But for now, the Syrian pound is increasingly silent. Last week, Syria ordered merchants and shopkeepers to price goods in their home currency - or face jail. But at this money shop in neighbouring Jordan, cash from its crisis-hit neighbour is worth less and less. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) YASSER ABUSHEIKHA, OWNER OF THE ABUSHEIKHA EXCHANGE SHOP, SAYING: "One thousand Syrian pounds can't buy anything. Inflation exists and it may become worse. If the situation stays as it is, the Syrian pound may drop even further." Here's where they really feel the pinch. 120,000 Syrian refugees live in this camp - it's a daily struggle to get supplies. They need over 300 Syrian pounds to buy one Jordanian dinar - compared to just 60 before the crisis. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HUSSEIN HOURANI, SYRIAN OWNER OF A CURRENCY EXCHANGE SHOP, SAYING: "The Jordanian dinar is okay, the dollar is okay, everything is fine except the Syrian currency." The refugees believe they're only seeing a fraction of the hundreds of millions of dollars of international aid pledged. But one small comfort: some money traders are dispensing with their usual commissions - currently around 4 pounds for a trade against the dinar. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ABU ABDULRAHMAN, SYRIAN OWNER OF CURRENCY EXCHANGE SHOP IN THE CAMP, SAYING: "Here in the camp, in order to help our fellow citizens, we don't sell for 300. We remove the four pounds and sell for 296." As always in crisis zones - the greenback rules. Before the conflict, 50 Syrian pounds would buy one US dollar. Now it's anything up to 300 and - without a solution to the crisis - still rising