Diamond Development Initiative Receives $761K in Grants

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RAPAPORT… The Tiffany & Co. Foundation granted a two-year $325,000 award to the Diamond Development Initiative on October 16, following a grant from Sweden’s ministry of foreign affairs of $436,000 one week earlier. The funds will help the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) in laying a foundation for sustainability, supporting operations,  and developing standards and guidelines for artisanal diamond mining.

“The Tiffany & Co. Foundation is proud to support the Diamond Development Initiative in its efforts to build the organization and to strengthen its program work to make diamonds a source of economic development and to improve the lives of Africa’s artisanal mining communities,” said Fernanda Kellogg, president of the Foundation.

More than one million artisanal diamond diggers and their families live and work in absolute poverty across Africa, outside the formal economy, in countries struggling to recover from the ravages of war. The DDI is a unique effort to address these problems, bringing NGOs, governments, and business together in a common effort that aims to convert diamonds from a fuel for war into an engine for development.

DDI board chair Ian Smillie added, “These two grants are extremely important to the DDI.” The government of Sweden and Tiffany & Co. Foundation has demonstrated understanding and great confidence in providing the core support that is essential to any new initiative, and their additional support for project work in Africa will allow us to build on some of the exciting work we have already started, Smillie said.

DDI International, a charitable organization registered in the United States, was inaugurated in 2005. Its international board of directors and its advisory group include individuals from more than a dozen countries. It is currently working on start-up projects in that aim to improve the lives of Africa’s one million-plus artisanal diamond diggers.


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