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3 Apr 2020

Helen Clark, EITI Board Chair

EITI response to Covid-19: Call on governments and companies to protect workers & communities while upholding transparency

"Covid-19: Likely impacts, wider implications and our response", 27 March 2020.

...We recognise that countries around the world are facing a deeply challenging and unpredictable situation caused by the spread of the virus. At the same time, the upheaval in the markets for oil and other commodities will have far reaching consequences for governments which depend on revenues from the extractives sector...Under current price scenarios, we can expect exploration and the development of new projects to be delayed or cancelled. We can also anticipate closures and restructuring of some existing projects. Companies and their employees and suppliers will be affected. Vulnerable communities who depend on extractives operations will be among those most severely impacted.

It is inevitable that in some countries there will be short-term delays in EITI implementation...The International Secretariat is working closely with national stakeholders to respond and adapt to these challenges...the 47th EITI Board meeting in June will be held virtually...One lesson which has been learnt from the current public health situation is the need for transparency. In this time of profound uncertainty, the EITI’s work to promote greater transparency and good governance is as important as ever. 

...Despite commodity price falls, the extractives sector remains an engine for growth in many countries and a source of much-needed funding for countries in handling the current health crisis. There will be a need to bring stability to the industry after this period of crisis. We see a role for dialogue and collective approaches in this task...we urge all stakeholders to go about their business in a way which safeguards public health, and takes account of the gravity of the situation...