Venezuela economy crisis means shortage of Communion hosts

One of the effects of Venezuela’s economic crisis is a shortage of unleavened wheat flour to make Communion hosts.

The monthly production of hosts in the South American nation has fallen from 80,000 to 30,000 recently, the Catholic News Agency reported.

Giovanni Luisio Mass, prior of the Order of Poor Knights of Christ of the Temple of Jerusalem, told local media the drop has affected every parish in three Venezuelan states.

He added that only 1500 hosts can be sent to the parishes in the north of the country.

This is because there is no longer enough flour to make the 8000 hosts these parishes have always needed.

Several parishes, along with the local communities, have started their own searches for the flour needed for the hosts.

Shortages in Venezuela include food, toilet paper, medicines, auto parts, chocolate, oil, and clothes irons.

According to the Central Bank of Venezuela, food prices went up 92 per cent last year.

According to the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, since 2003 the Venezuelan government has imposed price controls on 165 products, including cooking oil, soap, milk, flour, cereals, toilet paper , cleaning products, detergent, diapers, toothpaste and sugar.

The local currency has plummeted in value.

As a result, price-controlled commodities are affordable, but disappear from shelves in no time, often to be resold on the black market at market rates.

And the goods that are not price-controlled are unaffordable because of the devalued currency.

The government has instituted measures such as distributing tickets for supermarkets and placing digital fingerprint readers in stores to prevent people from exceeding the allotted amount of products they can buy.


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