The availability of natural resources can directly affect the prospects of growth of a nation and their geographic distribution is uneven across and within countries. On one hand this can create opportunities for international trade between resource scarce and resource rich countries or, at the national level, generate revenues to be invested in development projects. On the other hand natural resources can feed international conflicts that can escalate to costly wars. Moreover, in countries where property rights are weakly enforced disputes over their control can lead to prolonged civil wars.
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