A Message to Shareholders Willing to Finance Oil Exploitation in Virunga – DRC


MSF-Photo: Colin Delfosse – A resident of Rubaya camp in Masisi, North Kivu, looks out over the makeshift tents.

 When investing in Oil be aware that you are also contributing:

1. To finance massacres, conflicts and inter-ethnic wars, low intensity warfare originated in the oil exploitation;

2. To expel populations from oil areas (from families to massive expulsions), with colonizing, “relocation”, “transmigration” programs sponsored by the multilateral banking system;

3. To alter the life of women: through heavier workloads, sexual abuses, violence;

4. To alter the life of children: using their workforce for decontamination;

5. To destroy cultural diversity;

6. To diminish the safety of those who live near oil facilities;

7. To destroy the base for self sufficiency of communities and people;

8. To confiscate land from the peasants and indigenous people;

9. To cause impoverishment and inflation;

10. To create the conditions which proliferate a number of sexually transmitted and tropical diseases.

11. To generate environmental racism;

12. To cause the extinction of natural species;

13. To alter and destroy the life of rivers and forest;

14. To accumulate waste, some of which is toxic;

15. To trigger an increase of illnesses such as cancer and leukemia;

16. To confiscate other resources in their concessions such as water, wood, sand and other resources;

17. To induce and provoke an increase in prostitution and crime;

18. To cause internal conflicts among the communities.  –  Source

 Make your choice.

 And if that was not enough:

19. To reduce the life expectancy of children

“Oil dependence is associated with more than sudden shifts in levels of poverty and exceptionally low living standards for much of the population in petro-states. It is also linked to unusually high rates of child mortality, child malnutrition, low life expectancy, poor health care, and reduced expenditures on education.

The statistics are startling. For each 5-point increase in oil dependence, the under-five mortality rate rises by 3.8 per thousand. This may be due to the fact that oil dependence is also negatively correlated with health care expenditures. Paradoxically, the more countries are dependent on oil, the less they spend on health as a percentage of GDP.

In Nigeria, for example, the government spends about $2 per person per year on health care, which is far less than the $34 per year recommended for developing countries by the World Health Organization.

But poor child welfare performance is also due to higher malnutrition rates that exist in oil dependent countries. Indeed, once the effects of per capita income are taken into account, for every 5 point rise in oil dependence, there is a corresponding one percent rise in the percentage of children under 5 who are malnourished. Compare, for example, the global average of 26.5 malnourished children per thousand to the 37.7 per thousand rate in oil-rich Nigeria.”  Terry L. Karl, Center on Democracy, Development, and The Rule of Law / Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University  – http://cddrl.stanford.edu.

Congo has already the 5th highest under-five mortality rate in the world and is responsible for over 6% of global under-five mortality.

An increase in child mortality in DRC could become one of the most hidden costs of Oil in this country, jeopardizing the future of millions of Congolese children and families.