Op-ed: Deadly Consequences of Corruption for Children in Angola

01/07/2015 14:02

Angola, 2015 host of the Kimberley Process, is a country of extreme wealth, thanks to oil and diamonds. Yet it has the highest child-mortality rate in the world. Rampant corruption, an apparent lack of interest in health care and little call for accountability from countries with oil interests there largely account for this contradiction. Nicholas Kristof, columnist for The New York Times, went to Angola to see for himself, and he recently returned with stunning video (in link). Tales of corruption in Angola are nothing new: this 2010 "Transparency and Accountability in Angola" report documents how the government took only limited steps to improve transparency after Human Rights Watch disclosed in a 2004 report that billions of dollars in oil revenue illegally bypassed the central bank and disappeared without explanation.

Kristof: "This is the deadliest country in the world for kids, and yet the government has just cut the health budget by 30%. This country is actually filthy rich, flush with oil and diamonds. There’s so much money here that a 1-bedroom apartment downtown can cost $12,000 a month. The real problem is it’s just spectacularly corrupt. Officials here spend $50 million a year on luxury cars alone...as kids perish at the highest rate in the world."