42 Pallaqueras (women mineral selectors), who are members of MACDESA (a Fairmined certified mining organization) in Arequipa, received food baskets as support due to the current conditions they are facing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Pallaqueras are artisanal miners who work handpicking rocks with precious metal content. Since the quarantine started in this country, in March 2020, these women had to suspend their mining activities. Therefore, they stopped earning their income.
Facing this vulnerability situation, considering that many of these women are househould heads, and have not received any economic or food aids from the authorities yet, the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), along with the Better Gold Initiative from the Swiss Cooperation (SECO) and ABR, gave these food baskets valued in 26 USD each last May (the baskets included groceries such as rice, sugar, oil, milk, tuna, beans, noodles, and oats; disinfection elements like gel alcohol and bleach, and surgical masks).
“Thank you! is the best expression to say how much we appreciate the hand that you have extended, the solidarity gesture, and the unconditional friendship that you offer us”, indicated María Reyes, president of the women mineral selectors.“
This support is part of the campaign ASMO without COVID-19, an initiative that aims to join efforts to protect health in the artisanal and small scale mining sector. The campaign is led by PlanetGOLD Perú, Solidarity, Alliance for Responsible Mining, Artisanal Gold Council, Red Social, Megam, Centro de Innovación Científica Amazónica (Amazonian Scientific Innovation Center), Fairtrade, and Pure Earth, with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Global Environment Facility (GEF), Netherlands Government, and Canada Embassy. Its implementation is carried out in Alliance with the local governments of Ancash, Arequipa, La Libertad, Madre de Dios, Piura and Puno.