The OECD, RMI, leading industry actors and civil society organisations have issued emergency calls to action to fund essential on-the-ground initiatives during this period of COVID disruption. The calls recognise the need to secure valuable progress on responsible sourcing, and livelihoods of the vulnerable artisanal and small scale (ASM) miners and mining communities disproportionately affected by the global pandemic. The International Tin Association, as a long-term member of the OECD Multi-Stakeholder Steering Group, and a leader in responsible sourcing activities, has joined this call acknowledging that ASM accounts for over 80% of the global mining work force, and in some years can contribute up to 40% of the world’s tin supply.
The emergency calls ask for support to on-the-ground initiatives, including ITSCI, who are suffering funding shortfalls due to reduced ASM activity caused by low prices and COVID control measures. While ITSCI has cut costs substantially, it is becoming difficult to operate at budgets matching the drop in mining output in central Africa. At the same time, field teams are reporting increased indications of interference by criminal bandits, non-state and state armed groups. Corruption and fraud are also on the rise as the economic situation worsens. These immediate impacts on women, men and children in ASM communities also represent increased risks to global supply chains.
Emergency funds are critical to ensuring that programmes like ITSCI with standards aligned with OECD due diligence can continue to help companies effectively address serious risks on the ground and to provide a lifeline to ASM miners including COVID advice and support. Without it, hard won progress in responsible mineral sourcing spanning the last 10 years could be difficult to restart.How can you help the ITSCI-RMI Campaign for Financial Support to ITSCI during the COVID-19 crisis?
Government donors, financing institutions, and companies, including downstream tin users, can find out more about how to respond to these calls;