The regions facing the COVID-19 outbreak 

Abdessamad Sekkal

ORU Fogar's President

As the ORU Fogar president, I proudly witness the significant work that the regions worldwide undertook in order to take part in the fight against the global pandemic we are going through. This is an unprecedented sanitary crisis to which the world is not prepared, whether at the State, regional, or local communities level. 

Unprecedented measures had to be implemented in order to tackle the fast spread of the COVID-19 virus, from closing the countries borders, declaring the state of emergency, calling for a total containment, creating support funds for the health system and the local economy, to various regions gathering substantial financial resources for this purpose.

Indeed, since the appearance of the virus in China, ORU Fogar had already called for providing the Hubei province with the assistance needed in a statement issued on the 11th of February, by answering the request of China Friendship Foundation for Peace and Development as a partner of our organisation. When the virus began spreading outside of China, particularly towards the north of Italy, we witnessed as well the strong reactivity of the regional presidents, notably of Lombardy and of Veneto. In addition, the spanish regions, in coordination with the central government, implemented several strict measures in order to curb the outbreak and to adequately administer the health system. Following the WHO alert declaring the global outbreak, the regions of Latin America, of Africa, the US and Mexican federal states, the provinces of Canada, and the European countries were at the forefront of these measures. For instance, the regions of Morocco, immediately declared the mobilisation of 1,5 billions of Dirhams in support of the national fund dedicated to combating the Coronavirus. 

More than ever, this proves the importance of complementarity of actions between States and regions in order to tackle situations of crisis that need a vast knowledge of the territories’ different aspects (socio economic, health, education…).

Thanks to their competences, proximity and knowledge of the territory, the regions can play an important role by more efficiently steering public policies, and concerning population awareness, by bringing adequate answers to the economic crisis induced by the containment measures, and to the evaluation of health-care capacities and of real needs in order to tackle this unprecedented situation. 

Moreover, beyond the mobilisation to fight this serious sanitary crisis, the regions are more than ever solicited to backstop and mitigate the strict containment measures’ effects on the economic activity. Most particularly on the small and medium-sized businesses, without forgetting the informal sector that remains present in many countries and in which the people involved need a special support. 

They can only be supported within the framework of a mode of governance ensuring the articulation and complementarity between the different levels of governance and where the regional level is placed at the heart of the intervention in order to implement measures adapted to each territory according to the impact of this sanitary crisis on their different components. 

Nevertheless, it is plain to see that the human dimension and the social cohesion are the key and the impending way out, I hope, of this global sanitary crisis.  

 


© All rights reserved ORU. Barcelona 2020