Social Issues

NGO: Venezuela’s food basket costs more than 21 times the minimum wage

Caracas, Aug 22 (EFE).- People in Venezuela must earn $15.68 a day to afford the cost of a basic food basket for a family of five, the Venezuelan Teachers’ Federation Center for Documentation and Social Analysis (Cendas-FVM) said Monday.

That figure is based on the NGO’s calculations for July, which found that a basic basket of food items for that month cost $470.44, or more than 21 times the country’s minimum monthly salary of 126 bolivars (just over $20).

The monthly cost of a basket of food items was up 2.3 percent relative to June, when it came in at $459.84, Cendas-FVM said.

The cost of roots and tubers rose the most of any food category, up 14.8 percent, while sauce and mayonnaise climbed 13.9 percent and fats and oils were 9.2 percent higher, according to Cendas-FVM.

Under the official exchange rate set by Venezuela’s central bank, the value of the bolivar weakened last Thursday relative to the dollar to 6.09 per greenback.

That broke the trend of the previous three months, when Venezuela’s currency traded at between 5-6 bolivars per dollar.

But the value of the bolivar on the black market, where much of the country’s currency trading takes place, weakened to more than six per dollar on July 26 and on Monday stood at 6.67, according to the Monitor Dolar Venezuela portal.

President Nicolas Maduro said last week that Venezuela’s economy, which had been mired in a long recession until last year, will grow between 10 percent and 20 percent in 2022. EFE

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