Collapse Looms in Zimbabwe

Economy may dissolve within six months as inflation spirals
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2007 9:56 AM CDT
Collapse Looms in Zimbabwe
President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, left, delivers his speech during the second day of the 12th Summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), at the United Nations Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday, May 23, 2007. At right Kenyan minister for Trade and Industry, Dr...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Zimbabwe could suffer a full structural collapse in the next few months, the BBC reports. According to a memo distributed to aid workers, shops may resort to barter and utilities may shut down entirely in the country, on account of unbridled inflation that's already the world's highest at 3,714%.

Prices are valid for sometimes only an hour, and employers have begun paying their staff with food; an aid worker said the memo described a near future with “no functioning government or a total breakdown." Only one-fifth of Zimbabwe's adult population is employed, and the UN is already predicting that one in three Zimbabweans will need food aid in 2007. (Read more Africa stories.)

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