Imagine that you go out for a meal, and by the time you have finished eating it, its price has doubled. That is the reality of hyperinflation, the result of printing too much money for the size of the economy, making cash essentially worthless.


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Crisis-stricken Venezuela is currently in the grip of hyperinflation, the worst case seen since Zimbabwe in 2007-09. By the end of the year, the inflation rate is predicted to top 1 million percent, a staggering large number which the government have attempted to curb by slashing 5 zeros off of the national currency, the Bolivar, and introducing new notes. For some time there will be a mix of notes in circulation, leading to confusing situations about the true price of items and making transactions a nightmare, particularly for poor Venezuelans who don’t have a bank account. These people have been forced to carry around huge piles of cash to buy even the most basic of household goods.

Can you imagine having to pay millions for a roll of toilet paper, that has an actual value of around $0.40 USD? To give you an idea of what this actually looks like, Venezuelan photographer Carlos Garcia Rawlins took pictures of essential items like tomatoes and nappies, together with the cash needed to purchase them. Prices shown are from the time the pictures were taken, the situation is so volatile they are likely to be very different now. The images are shocking, and vividly illustrate the sheer scale of the grave economic crisis that hyperinflation has brought to this once wealthy nation.

Scroll down below to check out the pictures for yourself, and for more information about the crisis in Venezuela, you can start with articles here, here and here. It is a complex situation that needs a deeper understanding than  simplistically declaring that ‘this is what socialism brings.’ Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Crisis-stricken Venezuela is currently in the grip of hyperinflation

A 2.4 kg chicken is pictured next to 14,600,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of 2.22 USD

These pictures show how little the national currency, the Bolivar, is worth

A toilet paper roll next to 2,600,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of 0.40 USD

Those without a bank account have to carry around huge piles of cash to buy even the most basic of household goods

A kilogram of carrots next to 3,000,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of 0.46 USD

A package of pads is pictured next to 3,500,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of 0.53 USD

A package of diapers next to 8,000,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of 1.22 USD

The prices shown here are from the time the pictures were taken, the situation is so volatile they are likely to be very different now

A kilogram of cheese next to 7,500,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of 1.14 USD

A package of 1kg of rice next to 2,500,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of 0.38 USD

A bar of soap next to 3,500,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of 0.53 USD

A kilogram of meat next to 9,500,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of 1.45 USD

A kilogram of tomatoes next to 5,000,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of 0.76 USD

A package of 1kg of pasta next to 2,500,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of 0.38 USD

Pressure is increasing on President Maduro to find a solution, as protests begin in the streets of Caracas

Here’s what people had to say