BEIRUT- Syria's central bank has weakened its official exchange rate to 2,814 Syrian pounds to the dollar, a central bank statement said Wednesday, bringing it marginally closer to black market rates that sat around 3,900 on the same day.

The official rate was previously set at around 2,500.

Syria's economy, crippled by more than a decade of war, is increasingly dollarised as people try to protect themselves against currency depreciation and inflation.

The collapse of the pound has driven up the price of goods and aggravated hardship as Syrians struggle to buy food, electricity and other basics.

The Syrian pound had come under increased pressure in February following Russia's invasion of Ukraine as the Syrian economy has close ties to Moscow, the main backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

(Reporting by Kinda Makieh; writing by Timour Azhari; Editing by Hugh Lawson)