In addition to being a humanitarian nightmare, the on-going Syrian conflict has wreaked havoc on the country’s economy.

And the damage to both human capital and infrastructure could keep economic growth muted going forward — even if the conflict ends within a few years.

Operating under the assumption that the conflict will continue on for “several more years,” a BMI Research team forecasts that the Syrian economy will contract by an average of 3.9% annually from 2016 to 2019. This will drag down the beleaguered economy to its early-1990s size.

“Large-scale destruction amid the protraction of the current civil war will continue to damage the Syrian economy over the coming decade,” the BMI Research team argued in a recent report.

“We project a return to growth only in 2020, mostly reflecting low base effects and the influx of external funding, including humanitarian aid, and investment from Russia and Iran,” the team continued. “Syria will become increasingly reliant on external assistance, especially from Iran and Russia, amid the depletion of government resources.”

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