the great black spill

You may have been reading in the paper in the last few days about the Niger Delta; local militants have been reaking havoc (kidnappings, bombs) on the oil companies in protest of the corruption and oppression they have bought to the people of the Niger.
Since I read this article a month ago in the Observer about the Niger Delta, oil, corruption and poverty I have been captured and have spent hours reading about oils role in politics and poverty. It is a horrific picture. I went along to a conference last week called Oil and Politics, a bunch of papers presented by proffessors, covering a whole range of issues, some were a bit abstract but most held stories and stats of devestating injustice...
A snapshot:
*Poor countries who are rich in oil are more likely to experience corruption, war, dictorial governance and wide spread poverty. (This is called the Resource Curse)
* the resource curse is best exemplified by Nigeria who have been exploiting oil for half a century and have Africas largest oil resource yet still 88% of people live on less than $1 a day and there is 1 doctor for every 150,000 people, with figures like these growing more dire every year.
*During the 90's resourse driven conflict killed more than 5 million people and displaced 11-15 million people in their own countries.
*Literacy and life expectancy at birth has increased more for non-oil economies than oil economies.
*1% of the revenue from the global oil industry would be enough to meet the water millenium development goal
This Christian aid report explores a lot of the major issues around poverty, human rights and oil. It is worth the long read! It also has recomendations at the end which I really feel we (the public, the church, the salvation army) should grab hold of.

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