The impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on people and organizations around the world is immense. Of course, NIMD is no exception. We are continuously monitoring the developments around the pandemic and have introduced several measures across our programmes to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus. Our top priority is to support our staff, partners and contractors around the world and safeguard their health.
For our staff in the Netherlands, this means that they have to work from home and are no longer permitted to travel internationally for work. We have also introduced flexible working for staff members with school-aged children. This allows them to combine working with teaching, now that the schools in the Netherlands are closed.
We are in close contact with our country offices, partners and contractors around the world and strongly advise them to follow the guidelines and regulations issued by their local health authority. It is inevitable that many meetings, training and other activities will be cancelled in the weeks to come. That is why we are now exploring creative ways to continue delivering support where possible. For example, we are looking into the possibilities of organizing online courses at our Democracy Schools in eleven of our programme countries.
It goes without saying that, as a democracy support organization, we are very concerned about the effects of the pandemic, especially in the poorest countries in the world, where social inequality means a large part of the population does not have access to adequate healthcare. Accountable governments perform better in fighting poverty and creating equal opportunities. That is why Coronavirus offers us yet another reason to do everything we can to keep our work with political actors and democratic institutions going in the new reality we are facing.