Venezuela's National Assembly has backed plans to import 39 million rolls of toilet paper, in an effort to relieve a chronic shortage.

Lawmakers voted to approve a $79m credit for the country's ministry of commerce, which will also be used to buy toothpaste and soap.

The products are currently in short supply in Venezuelan shops.

The oil-rich nation relies on imports, but currency controls have restricted its ability to pay for foreign goods.

President Nicolas Maduro, who won a narrow majority in April's presidential elections, maintains that the country's periodic shortages of basic goods are the result of a conspiracy by the opposition and rich sectors of society.