When assessing the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, it is still too early to ascertain the real long-term impact of the pandemic. This applies to what the Hub might face in the future as much as it does to everyone else. In the short term, the Corona Virus has certainly also had an immediate effect on the Hub’s day-to-day activities. It is fair to say that collaborative activities with our Partners in the Middle East and Africa have, to varying degrees, been affected as we have all taken drastic measures to combat this silent killer.
In order to keep ourselves and our families safe, we have implemented sensible preventative measures to mitigate the spread of the disease. We have introduced a reduced manning policy and have authorized remote working where possible. Additionally, we had to drastically limit our engagement with academic centres and partners. Therefore, conferences and workshops have been postponed, cancelled or conducted online when suitable. We believe that these precautionary measures and actions will assist in reducing the spread of this global pandemic.
Nonetheless, during this crisis the Hub hopes to continue demonstrating its solidarity and support for our long-term partnerships within the Middle East and Africa. Where possible, and taking all necessary precautionary and preventative measures necessary, it is business-as-usual here at the Hub, as demonstrated by the recent VTCs, webinars and online workshops that we still participate in.
Almost without exception, every national and international sector and business has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including all NATO members in the Alliance, as well as our Partners and Friends in the Middle East and African regions. We must prepare ourselves wisely for the next phases, living with the virus and the new realities it has brought, with unity, cohesion and harmony in this common global challenge. Working together will further enhance our capabilities to alleviate the consequences of this world-wide threat.
Rest assured, as soon as conditions permit, and if possible in the coming weeks, the Hub will return to a full schedule of engaging, developing and strengthening our highly valued relationships as well as sharing views on common challenges with our regional partners and friends.
Finally, a reminder that you can keep up to date with Hub activities and recent publications by visiting our website (www.TheSouthernHub.org), which highlights the Hub’s projects and achievements and those of our partners.