For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Union (EU) to support implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KP), which combats the trade in conflict diamonds. The MoU signifies the desire of USAID and the EU to collaborate and co-fund the implementation of USAID’s Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development (PRADD) program, which aims to assist countries with strengthening their compliance with the KP.
The PRADD project was launched in 2007 as a joint USAID and Department of State initiative with the aim to assist governments to fulfill their commitment to comply with the Kimberley Process, which the United States is chairing in 2012. The objective of PRADD is to increase the amount of alluvial diamonds entering the formal chain of custody while improving the benefits accruing to diamond mining communities.
USAID and the EU will co-fund the expansion of the PRADD program from the Central African Republic to Cote D’Ivoire, where a United Nations embargo on the export of diamonds has been in place since 2005. The PRADD program in Cote d’Ivoire will seek to improve governance of the artisanal diamond mining sector, while also addressing economic development within artisanal mining communities. If successful, the EU and United States may explore expanding the program elsewhere in Africa.
Over the past ten years and in its present capacity as chair of the Working Group on Monitoring, the EU has been closely involved in helping KP participants with the reviews of their national KP systems. Recently, the EU has also taken over the lead role of the "Friends of Côte d'Ivoire" group and as such is supporting the country in its efforts to move towards compliance with KP minimum standards.
“We are extremely happy to see the development of this new partnership with the European Union,” says Dr. Gregory Myers of USAID’s Economic Growth, Education and Environment Bureau. “We frequently partner with the EU in many countries, but this is the first time we will partner in addressing artisanal mining issues. We believe that this opens the door for greater collaboration in future work addressing land tenure challenges, which will reduce the use of public resources and maximize our impacts.”
Information about USAID’s PRADD project and support to the KP is available on the USAID Land Tenure and Property Rights Portal.
Last updated: December 03, 2012