Zimbabwe Introduces New 10 Million Dollar Note
The issue of new notes follows nearly three months of banking chaos as cash dried up and queues, sometimes hundreds of meters long, became a permanent feature outside commercial banks.
Zimbabwe is in its 10th year of economic crisis, marked by the world's highest rate of inflation, the fastest shrinking gross domestic product in a country not in a state of war, the most rapidly collapsing currency and unemployment of over 80%.
Economists said the disappearance of cash was a result of inflation estimated at 50,000% - the government has banned publication of official figures - that forces shoppers to pay with brick-sized bundles of near-worthless notes for a few simple groceries.
A year ago, the highest denomination was 10,000 Zimbabwe dollars, then worth about $7, now worth about 1/3 of 1 cent (US). The new 10 million Zimbabwe dollar note is worth $3 (US). During the year there were three separate new issues of notes as inflation continued to soar, including the 200,000 note pictured above, which is worth worth only 6 cents (US).
The Zimbabwe Central Bank remained optimistic about the situation, and a spokesman said "As monetary authorities we once again assure the nation that we are in full control of the currency situation."