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For nearly 20 years, Oxfam has worked to right one of the world’s biggest wrongs: Countries that are rich in natural resources are often poor and suffer from high rates of inequality, corruption, human rights abuse, and environmental degradation. The tremendous wealth generated by the extraction of gold, diamonds, copper, oil, and other natural resources should help lift people out of poverty. But the revenue is often lost to corruption, tax evasion, and waste.  This “resource curse” is not inevitable. Under the right conditions, responsible management of natural  resources—which in some cases means not extracting them—could alleviate poverty and support a host of social programs. These include the delivery of education and health services, the protection and promotion of women’s and community rights, and investment in small scale agriculture and renewable energy. How to make this happen is the defining challenge of Oxfam International’s Extractive Industries Global Program.

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