New Pact-USAID project in DRC will stem child labor, violence and other illegal activity at mine sites

July 26, 2019
Podium: Paul Sabatine, USAID Mission Director in the DRC. Table, Right to Left: Mickael Daudin, Yves Bawa, U.S. Ambassador Michael Hammer.

Pact has received a new award from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help counter illegal activities including child labor, violence and other human abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Sustainable Mine Site Validation (SMSV) project is a $3.7 million undertaking that funds a validation process for tin, tantalum, tungsten (3T) and gold mine sites, verifying that no armed groups are benefitting from mining activities and that the mine has the legal authority to operate. This process is the first step to ensuring minerals are sourced responsibly and conflict-free, which contributes to broader peace and stability in the region.

At a July 19 award signing ceremony in Kinshasa, DRC, USAID/DRC Mission Director Paul Sabatine explained, “This [validation] process contributes to regional stability by reducing conflict and increasing transparency and accountability,” adding that he was “particularly satisfied to know that this project will include civil society as well as organizations representing women and children.”

Pact’s Mines to Markets program uses an integrated, holistic approach to help resource-dependent communities improve their lives. Pact brings together government, industry and miners themselves to make artisanal and small-scale mining formal, safer and more productive.

In DRC, vast mineral resources offer the prospect of real economic benefit. But their high value often attracts conflict, abuses and can lead to complex social problems. The SMSV project, which will be implemented in close cooperation with DRC government and state services, is an important part of strategically countering these systemic challenges and fills an important community need in DRC, where Pact has worked with mining communities for more than a decade.


Learn more about Pact’s work in DRC:

Learn more about Pact’s Mines to Markets program:

Read the press release from USAID: