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Joint Communication of Mohammed Sadiki, President of the CIHEAM Governing Board and Plácido Plaza Secretary-General of the CIHEAM

23 March 2020

Like many other countries in the world, the 13 Member States of the CIHEAM (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Tunisia and Turkey) have been facing a serious health situation for several weeks due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The host countries of the CIHEAM Mediterranean Agronomic Institutes located in Bari (Italy), Chania (Greece), Montpellier (France) and Zaragoza (Spain) are amongst the most affected in the Mediterranean region. The CIHEAM has obviously decided to respect the health security measures implemented by the host countries, obliging us to significantly slow down, or even interrupt, many activities.

In this difficult context, the CIHEAM wishes to ensure its full support to the entire CIHEAM community, particularly the students hosted in the Institutes. The Directors of the Institutes are doing their utmost to ensure that the basic student services are provided. In the Institutes, as in the premises of the General Secretariat of the CIHEAM, the maintenance has been reinforced and the barrier measures against the spread of the virus have been made compulsory.

A monitoring group led by the General Secretariat composed of representatives of the 4 Institutes has been set up to promote internal communication and facilitate the harmonised implementation of prevention measures while strengthening solidarity between the teams that contribute to the daily dynamism of the CIHEAM.

Breaking the chain of virus transmission

The CIHEAM calls for the mobilisation of all its staff, lecturers, researchers, students, and service providers to strictly respect the barrier gestures, starting with: regular hand washing, recommended physical distances and containment measures taken by national authorities. As recommended by scientists and political authorities, minimising direct contact with others is necessary in order to break the chain of virus transmission.

By demonstrating responsibility and solidarity, the CIHEAM community will be able to come out of this crisis stronger and resume their teaching, research and cooperation activities as soon as the virus has been overcome.

This individual and collective challenge can only strengthen the spirit of cohesion that characterises the CIHEAM.  We know that we can count on you and we are convinced that you will be up to the challenges for Our Mediterranean.