Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe-50k notes used to pan for gold

With an extraordinary video smuggled out by anti-Mugabe activist.

Link

The opposition activist has produced extraordinary footage of what Zimbabweans have to do in order to survive in a wrecked economy. As money is worthless – Zimbabwe is plagued by the world's highest inflation rate – the villagers are reduced to panning for gold in rivers. Instead of attending school, youngsters from the village scrabble knee-deep in muddy water or dig ever deeper holes in a desperate search for a few grains of gold.

These small supplies of the precious metal have thus become a crucial commodity Zimbabweans can trade for food; a loaf of bread is worth 0.1 grams. But only the young have the strength to dig and pan for gold; the village elders must go hungry, unless they have friends or relatives they can rely on. Some parents have been forced to feed rats to their children, and hunger has turned family members against each other.