Covid19 Impact

Fundraising Campaign to Support ITSCI

Campaign Message

The ITSCI Program for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains is a unique, large-scale joint initiative contributing to better governance, human rights and stability in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda. ITSCI supports member companies’ implementation of due diligence in 3T supply chains by working with governments, business and civil society, and providing locally based expert teams on the ground. Through ITSCI’s work, more than 6,500 mineral shipments from high-risk areas have been delivered to smelters and successfully audited under the RMI’s Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP). ITSCI’s human resource and logistical network in remote mining areas provides a unique opportunity for contributors to invest in making positive differences to mining communities’ livelihoods and national economies.


Announcement: COVID-19 Emergency Appeal: ITSCI-RMI Launch Campaign for Financial Support


ITSCI is urgently seeking emergency funding to maintain its operations during the COVID-19 crisis and the RMI is encouraging donations to help ITSCI continue its important efforts. ITSCI funding depends on 3T mining, export and trade. Since January 2017, upstream industry actors have contributed 97 percent of ITSCI’s funding, primarily through levies in proportion to mineral traded. However, the mineral trade has decreased by as much as 65 percent, due to a drop in global market prices and COVID-19-related logistical challenges, or has been completely halted in states under lockdown. Even as restrictions ease, challenges remain in relation to social distancing measures and the availability of business services and transport, impacting ITSCI’s current and future revenue. Despite substantially cutting costs, ITSCI is unable to operate at budgets matching the drop in mining output. ITSCI is operated at cost, without profit, and all revenues are held in trust for the sole use of program activities.

Yet at the same time, human rights and security-related risks are intensifying due to COVID-19-related disruptions. Field teams are reporting cases of child labor resulting from school closures, and increased indications of interference by criminal bandits, non-state and state armed groups. Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) livelihoods are threatened given the present situation, as vulnerable workers absorb the impact of the economic and health crisis. Corruption and fraud are also expected to increase as the economic situation worsens.

While ITSCI continues to report risks in the supply chain under these circumstances, travel restrictions and budget cuts have resulted in a decreased level of field effort – restricting the ability to work with stakeholders to resolve risks. Reduced level of effort by ITSCI teams will add to the due diligence burden on smelters. Further, unresolved issues threaten to increase reputational risks for downstream companies.

Therefore, ITSCI and the RMI are reaching out to their respective key stakeholders to request support for ITSCI’s continued operations, including financial support for up to four months of anticipated disruption. ITSCI will need to raise approximately $1.7 million USD to cover revenue gaps.

ITSCI and the RMI are asking stakeholders that wish to support ITSCI’s operations during this challenging time to pledge their support within the months of June and July 2020.

Pledged donations can be paid at any time until the end of the calendar year and will give ITSCI the commitment and certainty needed to closely manage the initiative through the crisis and rebuild activity to a more appropriate level. We understand these are challenging times for fundraising, but are asking companies to consider making significant financial contributions in order to address this need.

Individual contributions can be made in several ways:

  • Donations to the RBA Foundation, a tax exempt 501(c)3 organization, that will be directed to the 2020 ITSCI Fundraising Campaign
  • Donations direct to ITSCI can be made by direct link or contact to itsci@internationaltin.org. The ITSCI team is available to discuss and support specific funder requirements.
  • Contributions can come from operational budgets, foundation funding, or from government grants
  • Contributions can be provided up front, on a monthly basis, or at any time before the end of the calendar year

ITSCI and the RMI will transparently report on pledges and donations received during this campaign. Should ITSCI receive funding over $1.7million USD, ITSCI will set aside those funds for future market downturns.

Over the last decade, ITSCI has provided vital information and support to smelters undergoing RMI RMAP audits. Together with the RMI, improvements have been made to advance 3T due diligence, align with international expectations, and enable downstream companies to source responsibly from high-risk areas. ITSCI standards are fully aligned with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, and ITSCI’s work impacts approximately 80,000 individual miners whose economic activity indirectly impacts approximately 5 million people.

Following the RMI, OECD and Civil Society calls to action in support of essential on-the-ground initiatives, ITSCI needs your support to maintain operations. By solving this challenge together, we can all promote the recovery of the sector and resiliency of the livelihoods our supply chains depend upon.

 

"The COVID-19 crisis will be a litmus test for responsible businesses. The leaders will distinguish themselves by supporting suppliers and the most vulnerable in their supply chain for a fairer and more resilient recovery. I commend RMI and ITSCI for launching this pledge and call on all users of metals to join. Urgent steps are necessary to safeguard hard won gains in mineral supply chain and support artisanal mining communities from the potentially devastating impacts of the COVID-19 crisis." - Tyler Gillard, Head of Sector Projects, OECD Centre for Responsible Business Conduct

"As a downstream company, we rely heavily on in-region traceability programs to responsibly source 3TG. These programs, such as iTSCi, are crucial to the livelihoods of mining communities and our ability to manufacture responsibly sourced products for our consumers. Downstream companies must ensure they support and engage with these upstream actors who play such an important role in our supply chain." - Intel

"As both an upstream and downstream company in the tantalum supply chain, KEMET believes ITSCI’s existing role in supporting a conflict-free source of tantalum in the Great Lakes region of Africa is critical to the electronics industry." - KEMET




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