In these times of great uncertainty for the Pacific, I would first like to reaffirm our commitment, alongside our CROP partners, to supporting our member countries and territories in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.
While COVID-19 numbers in the Pacific remain low at this point, we will do everything possible to help ‘flatten the curve’ and give our members the ability to manage this challenge.
The Pacific Community, through our Public Health Division, is meeting daily with regional and international representatives to identify, coordinate and respond to our membership, though training, education, testing support, procurement and more. We have placed a front page article on the SPC website listing in detail the actions we are taking, both for our staff and for our members, which will be updated regularly for as long as this crisis continues.
This week, SPC joined many other organizations around the world in instituting a work from home policy for all staff. It was a necessary step to protect our staff, their families and loved ones, but also the people with whom they interact on a daily basis in their professional sphere.
However, this does not mean that SPC is closed or running at reduced speed. While we unfortunately have had to postpone many events, missions and activities in the region, we are continuing to deliver critical services to our members. We will adapt wherever needed to keep implementing our joint projects and meet our commitments. SPC staff are more motivated than ever to do so.
I want to emphasize that the fight against COVID-19 is at the center of our attention, but it is not the only focus of our work. SPC, even in these times of crisis remains committed to achieving longer-term objectives for climate, fisheries, geoscience, agriculture, human rights, statistics and of course health in the Pacific.
Each of SPC’s divisions will do everything possible to help countries fight COVID-19, but also to address the other great challenges faced by everyone wo lives in this region. Our core organization goal of a more sustainable future for the Pacific and its people remains our priority.
Our offices may be quiet for a time, but SPC remains, more than ever, open for business.