Delve representatives, Dr. Rachel Perks (World Bank) and Nathan Schneck (Pact), were pleased to join the 16th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) and participate in the session titled 'Responding to COVID-19 in the ASM Sector' on October 21, 2020.
The session focused on the impacts that COVID-19 has had on artisanal and small-scale mining, and how governments, communities, and international actors have responded to the economic, social, and environmental impacts of the pandemic. Adam Rolfe, Senior Manager, Good Governance, Levin Sources and Alec Crawford, Senior Policy Advisor, IGF moderated the session which featured messages from ministers from Senegal (Hon. Aissatou Sophie Gladima, Minister of Mines and Geology) and Colombia (Hon. Carolina Rojas-Hayes, Deputy Minister of Mines, Colombia). The Delve team presented on key findings from the COVID-19 Impact Reporting exercise. The presentation explored potential risks to the health of ASM communities presented by the pandemic including access to adequate healthcare and delivery of preventative health services. In addition findings on the impact of the pandemic on men and women were explored, highlighting the disproportionate negative impact of food insecurity experienced by women. An overall key message for participants was that artisanal and small-scale miners intend to continue to mine despite disruptions caused by the pandemic. Globally, access to financing to restart operation was the most requested support miners sought to restart operations impacted by the pandemic. In some specific countries the majority of respondents requested equipment provisions and support to legalize operations. This finding further reinforces evidence over the last two decades that ASM is not a temporary stopgap measure in rural areas anymore. Rather it is an important livelihood outpacing more traditional livelihood activities such as agriculture and petty trade. Therefore formalizing the ASM sector must remain a priority for all concerned actors in order to support the responsible development of the sector and enable it to be a driver of economic recovery through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full slide deck from the presentation is available in the Delve Resource Library alongside the open data dashboards on the COVID-19 Impact Reporting exercise.
A link to a recording of the session will be shared in the coming days.