Friday, December 16, 2005

Can Chad Break the Oil Curse?

Chad was a test case of whether a country could avoid the oil curse.

In 2003, Chad became the site of an experiment to test whether oil money could pay for medicines and schools rather than luxury cars and weapons. The World Bank set up a system in which only 15 percent of the revenues from three oil fields would go into the general government coffers. Most of the rest would be spent on fighting poverty or saved for the post-oil years. Chad's agreement on these rules attracted ExxonMobil and other investors.

The early results are not encouraging. There is little evidence of improvements in living standards, and a lot of worrisome signs that money is disappearing. Now President Idriss D�by, claiming the government is broke, has decided to scuttle the restraints on his spending. He wants to double the percentage of oil money that goes to general government funds, scrap any saving for the future and allow the money earmarked for antipoverty programs to be spent on security.
Doesn't look good. Yet another reason to try an minimize all use of oil and the corruption it spreads around the world.

Via New York Times

1 comment:

bathmate said...
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