Publication: Supporting Artisanal and Small-scale Mining Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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World Bank
In 2020, the World Bank projected that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could push more than hundred million people into extreme poverty. The estimated forty-five million people around the world working in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) were particularly vulnerable because of the informal, often precarious nature of their working conditions and lack of access to social safety nets. At the height of the initial lockdown, as mineral prices dropped and mining sites closed, artisanal and small-scale miners, their families, and their communities suffered large declines in income and rising food insecurity. Without intervention, they were at risk of sliding into poverty. At the same time, there was concern that gains made over several decades to formalize the sector would be eroded, particularly where community tensions were rising. To address these risks, the World Bank took early action. In May 2020, the extractives global programmatic support (EGPS) trust fund initiated a rapid global survey to identify miners’ needs and then used the results to mobilize an emergency response window that raised 6.6 million in support to ASM communities in 22 countries. This report describes the EGPS emergency response window for ASM Communities Impacted by COVID-19, what it achieved, and what the World Bank has identified as priority areas for action in ASM communities going forward.
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World Bank. 2023. Supporting Artisanal and Small-scale Mining Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic. © Washington, DC: World Bank. License: CC BY-NC 3.0 IGO.
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