Thursday, January 29, 2009

Zimbabwe abandons its currency

The runaway inflation in Zimbabwe has forced it's government to abandon their currency. Now residents will use currencies from other countries instead. Many shop owners were already not accepting the Zimbabwe currency anyway.

Rapid inflation made the Zimbabwe currency worthless. The countries central bank recently slashed 10 zeros from their notes to make it more manageable. They did that after introducing a $100 trillion dollar note.

An update on all that is going on in Zimbabwe comes from the BBC.

Until now only licensed businesses could accept foreign currencies, although it was common practice.

The country is also facing an deepening humanitarian crisis as well.

A cholera outbreak has killed over 3,000 people according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

And the World Food Programme (WFP) has revised up the number of people it says need food aid.

It now says seven million Zimbabweans are in need of food aid, up from 5.1 million in June.

WFP regional spokesman Richard Lee said the situation had deteriorated rapidly.

"The economic situation has worsened more dramatically than we had anticipated," he told AFP.

"The agency is being forced to halve the cereal rations given to hungry Zimbabweans so that all the people in need can receive aid."

The country is in the grip of world-record hyperinflation which has left the Zimbabwean dollar virtually worthless - 231m% in July 2008, the most recent figure released.

Teachers, doctors and civil servants have gone on strike complaining that their salaries - which equal trillions of Zimbabwean dollars - are not even enough to catch the bus to work each day.

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