|Overview : |
The ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme is a capacity building program that aims to build the profile, and improve the management, of Development Minerals. The program is an initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, financed by the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and implemented by UNDP. Phase II of the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme kicked off with a EUR 11.1 million funding from the EC and the UNDP. The Programme will strengthen the capacity of Artisanal small-scale mining enterprises (ASMEs) operating in member countries of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS). The Programme aims to support the ASMEs to enhance productivity, create jobs, increase income and put in place environmental and social safeguards in and around mining areas. Six focus countries benefit from the Programme (Cameroon, Guinea, Uganda, Zambia, Jamaica and Fiji).
In Uganda the Development Minerals sector as one of the key input providers for a large range of economic activities including construction, housing, infrastructure, farming and manufacturing is already hit hard as its artisanal and small-scale nature calls for labor intensive work whereas the required workforce is confined home since the beginning of the pandemic. The easing measures unfolding gradually are nowhere close to filling the void created by the “retreat” of the sector’s workers and subsequent socio-economic impact. In this context and in order to contribute to Uganda’s response to COVID-19, UNDP through the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme is proposing a three-layered response to mitigate the fallout of the pandemic. This is expected to help ASMEs stay afloat while ensuring swift economic recovery and build back better.
The Government of Uganda has put in place a strategy targeting the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) Sector towards strengthening regulatory oversight through formalization, appropriate licensing, biometric registration of miners and harnessing sustainable mining among other outcomes. The lack of a formalized sector also makes it very difficult for governments to put into practice effective strategies, policies, and regulations for minimizing potential negative environmental and health impacts that are common in ASM. In addition, the outbreak and spread of COVID-19 has impacted on the growth and sustainability of Artisanal and Small-scale Mining Enterprises (ASMEs) businesses. AASMEs in the Development Minerals sector have intensified efforts towards recovery after becoming financially stressed due to reduced production and other operational disruptions during the past year of theCOVID-19 pandemic. Concerted efforts from all stakeholders continue to be harnessed towards facilitating this economic recovery especially towards improving livelihood security, resilience and sustainability of mining operations.
In line with the above, and in order to contribute to Uganda’s ASM Strategy and response to COVID-19, UNDP through the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme will finance proposals from Artisanal and Small-scale Miners/Enterprises operating in the Development Minerals sector that are in line with the following strategic priorities: i) Formalization; ii) Enhanced Occupational Health and Safety at workplace, home and community levels; and iii) Business continuity support to the ASMEs in the sector.
Firstly, the “work environment home and community health and safety support” will be needed to ensure home, office, pit-side and community-based activities are made safer enough for ASMEs to re-start operation gradually and where possible. The support will cater for the design and/or effective implementation of viable health and safety measures and protocols that already exist to break the spread of the disease and keep workplace safe. This will be built on the mining-specific health and safety measures already mastered and capitalized by miners during Programme Phase I. Intervention will focus on sensitization of PPE, hand washing tools for improved sanitation and provide non-medical requirements, strengthen women leadership and their meaningful participation in the COVID-19 response.
Secondly, “business continuity support” effort will support ailing businesses and operations in the sector. It will encompass a large range of support aiming at keeping ASMEs afloat to avoid bankruptcies and massive layoffs in the face of market breakdown including covering urgent production continuity need and related matters to minimize immediate, short- and medium-term impact on ASMEs in the Development Minerals Sector. The support will encompass work and production logistics as well as inputs eligible under the current funding made available by the European Union. Business continuity support will encompass inclusive value chains development activities, maintaining production and productivity while weathering and navigating through COVID-19 and positioning ASMs to tap into financial and market opportunities and production capital.
Thirdly funding will also incorporate the formalization of ASMEs in order to ensure livelihood and job security, access to financing and provision of technical support services among other benefits from formalizing ASMEs..
This will be facilitated under a COVID-19 Response partnership initiative with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.
The proposed response will be targeted at ASMEs working in the Development Minerals sector in Uganda. . Additionally, it is anticipated that it will include a larger number of ASM operators and businesses active in the sector.
All Applications should be received no later than April 16, 2021.
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