TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 29, 2011) - IAMGOLD Corporation ("IAMGOLD" or the "Company") (TSX:IMG)(NYSE:IAG) today announced that it has embarked upon an innovative Canadian Public-Private Partnership to improve educational opportunities and provide greater access to 'job-readiness' training for the youth of Burkina Faso in West Africa. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has approved funding of CDN$5,654,980 to support this five-year project which was jointly proposed by Plan Canada and IAMGOLD. Together, Plan Canada and IAMGOLD have committed CDN$1,919,830 to the project, which represents one of the largest public-private partnerships with an extractive company in CIDA's history.
"The Canadian extractive industries are the largest in the world, working in many developing countries that have an abundance of natural resources. Working in partnership with the private sector, these resources can contribute to poverty reduction in many of these countries and improve the standard of living for their populations," explained Hon. Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation. "CIDA is supporting Canada's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector with initiatives that will contribute to sustainable economic growth, create jobs and long-term poverty reduction."
Steve Letwin, President and CEO of IAMGOLD, said, "The partnership demonstrates how responsible businesses can take an active role and form working relationships with non-profit organizations to help improve the lives of children and the economies of the developing world. This project has received strong support from the Government of Burkina Faso and was developed in collaboration with local and regional authorities throughout the country. Although we operate in one small corner of the country, support for this comprehensive project is the right thing to do and is aligned with our core purpose to enrich the lives of all our stakeholders.
In particular, I thank CIDA for supporting this initiative. Their support is an excellent example of the strong leadership role that Canada continues to take in support of education and promoting sustainable development in many parts of the world."
"Our first commitment is to the best interests of children and the communities in which we work," said Rosemary McCarney, President and CEO of Plan Canada. "We believe that NGOs and the private sector have different but important roles to play in ensuring that major economic investments by Canadian companies translate into a pattern of development that benefits all. Our partnership with IAMGOLD will create safe training and decent work opportunities for youth in Burkina Faso."
Entitled Building Young People's Human Capital for Economic Growth: A Canadian Public-Private Partnership for CSR in Burkina Faso, the project's highlights are to:
- Focus on non-formal technical and vocational training for youth of ages 13 to 18 in two regions of the country;
- Support the transition of youth from pre-professional education to professional training;
- Double professional secondary education enrolment and education completion rates in targeted zones;
- Provide life skills training needed to help youth to make the transition to the job market and self-employment;
- Make a direct contribution to Burkina Faso's human resources by investing in the country's youth, with a strong emphasis on girls; and
- Showcase a CSR partnership that brings together industry, civil society and the governments of Canada and Burkina Faso.
Meetings involving all interested parties were held throughout the week in Burkina Faso to formally begin the implementation of this project.
IAMGOLD (www.iamgold.com) is a leading mid-tier gold mining company producing approximately one million ounces annually from five gold mines (including current joint ventures) on three continents. IAMGOLD is uniquely positioned with a strong financial position and extensive management and operational expertise. To grow from this strong base, IAMGOLD has a pipeline of development and exploration projects and continues to assess accretive acquisition opportunities. IAMGOLD's growth plans are strategically focused in West Africa, select countries in South America and regions of Canada. IAMGOLD also operates Niobec, a niobium mine in the Canadian province of Quebec.
Plan is a global movement for change, mobilizing millions of people around the world to support social justice for children in developing countries. Founded in 1937, Plan is now one of the world's oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. For more information visit www.plancanada.ca
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