Canadians like to complain about rising food prices, but our rate of inflation went up 1.66 per cent this past year — in Venezuela, the International Monetary Fund predicts it could go up to 720 per cent.
Residents are facing otherworldly sticker shock for basic goods, amid an economic crisis fuelled by the oil price collapse and excessive government spending.
High food costs are not the only issues facing everyday Venezuelans. The country’s Pharmaceutical Federation guesses that it is without 80 per cent of essential medical supplies, according to CNN. There are rolling blackouts, and government employees now only work two days a week.
However, those food costs are a simple way to visualize the crisis in the socialist country.
All the food available in the house of Mirella Rivero and her family, is pictured at their home in Caracas, Venezuela April 15, 2016. (REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)
To make things worse, the regulated government price for goods is not the one at which many Venezuelans buy their groceries. Store lines are incredibly long, so most people buy their products on the black market, where items are far more expensive.
The slideshow below will give you an idea of how much staples cost at both the regulated and black market price, compared to the country's minimum wage.
~15,000 bolivars a month as of June 8, 2016
Regulated market price: 1,020 bolivars Black-market price: 1,500 bolivars Source: The L.A. Times
Regulated market price:: 245 bolivars Black-market rate: 750 to 1000 bolivars Source: The L.A. Times
Regulated market price: 358 bolivars Black-market rate: 2,000 bolivars Source: Forbes
Regulated market price: 20 bolivars Black-market price: 400 bolivars Source: Scott Tong/Marketplace
Regulated market price:146 bolivars Black-market price: 2000 bolivars Source: Scott Tong/Marketplace
Regulated market price:200 bolivars Black-market price: 1200 bolivars Source: Scott Tong/NPR's Marketplace