Our response to COVID-19

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Support to elderly people and women at risk of violence, a database to match producers and buyers of personal protective equipment: learn how the Programme and the funded projects have rapidly adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic and contributed to the global efforts to address its consequences in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

The capacity of the Programme and the projects to effectively respond to the COVID-19 and reshape some lines of action to cope with a new reality has been highlithed by the European Commission and by the National Italian Agency for Territorial Cohesion (see this report).

Continue reading to discover inspiring examples of how we tackle the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. 

The call for capitalisation projects, a contribution to the socio-economic recovery of the cooperation area

Launched on the 5th of May with the aim of fostering the transfer, exploitation and mainstreaming of knowledge and results developed under different Euro-Mediterranean initiatives, the call for capitalisation projects also encourages the design of actions that can foster the socio-economic regeneration across the Mediterranean area, in terms of: 

  • Job and business creation;
  • Transition to carbon-neutral economies
  • Efficient delivery of social care services;
  • Support to the most vulnerable people.

The deadline for submitting project proposals is the 28th of July. 

Learn more here.

Ensuring the safe and continuous implementation of funded projects
In view of the potential negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the implementation of funded project, the Managing Authority has prepared a note which contains a series of recommendations for a safe project implementation and contingency measures to be adopted in case project activities become excessively difficult to carry out as initially planned. The note also encourages all Lead Beneficiaries and partners to explore possibilities to contribute to the response to the consequences of the COVID-19 emergency, where possible, by using achieved outputs of the project to support COVID-19 needs or extending the scope of planned or on going activities to cover also the COVID-19 needs.

Projects have shown their capacity to swiftly adapt to the new reality by using e-tools, reviewing their work plan, etc. Eventually, the effects of the pandemic – social distaining and impossibly to travel – have had positive effects on many projects by reinforcing the solidarity and cooperation among partners. A survey carried out by the Joint Technical Secretariat with the lead beneficiaries and partners of the 41 running projects shows that, notwithstanding the objective challenges posed by the pandemic, most of the foreseen activities could be implemented, with the necessary adjustments as the case may be. 

Tunisia: a shelter for women victims of violence

A safe-haven for women victims of violence: an emergency shelter where they (and their children) can immediately be hosted, even during the pandemic, to get away from homes where it is too dangerous for them to remain. It is happening in Tunisia, in the framework of the MedTOWN project. It is an example of a concrete response to the crisis unleashed across all borders by the COVID-19 on the particularly fragile segment of abused women, and how a project was able to readjust its intervention to meet a new need arisen in the context of the pandemic. This initiative was featured in the French national newspaper Le Monde.

Read the full story

Linking up sources and suppliers of personal protective equipment
The original aim of TEX-MED ALLIANCES was to create cross-border alliances between private textile companies to find new partners, explore new business lines and improve their competitiveness. With the spread of COVID-19, this project has adapted to the emergency by mapping the industrial capacities of the Mediterranean area in terms of production of self-filtering masks, protective gloves and clothes for medical use. The collected information is shared with public authorities and other possible buyers. "Only in Spain, in two weeks we have received 90 applications and orders have already been filed for some companies. Every week the information is shared, but before the end of April we will put together all data from all countries, to identify possible cross-border matching," said Monica Olmos, project manager of TEX-MED ALLIANCES. 

This initiative was highlithed by European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Ms. Elisa Ferreira and featured in the summer edition of Panorama, the magazine of the European Commission on Cohesion Policy. 

Read the full story

No elderly alone


In the Mediterranean, elderly people have been particularly hit by COVID-19. The media attention has been much riveted to them but mostly as a risk group on a medical level. Isolated and lonely more than ever due to social distancing and confinement, in this unprecedented period they eminently need adequate care, both social and psychological. Emotional support, social involvement, scientific research: tackling the pandemic, the TEC-MED project has developed solutions to find some relief for older people.

Read the full story

Rethinking tourism

The Mediterranean tourism industry, which accounts for 11.5% of total and 11.3% of regional GDP economic growth (2014 figures, source: UNEPMAP QSR) has been one of the most hard hit sectors by the COVID-19 crisis. Rethinking tourism for the Mediterranean area to stay competitive in the global scenario is not an opportunity anymore: it is a necessity for a sector of vital importance for local communities and small businesses. With social distancing being the new reality, there will be an increasing demand for proximity tourism based on natural, cultural and local assets. In order to prepare tourism stakeholders for the COVID-19 aftermath and come up with new, innovative ideas, the CROSSDEV project has organized a series of free online lectures with international experts in the field of sustainable tourism. Want to find out more? Read below.

Welcome to the isolation economy
Fresh, innovative business ideas and the promotion of entrepreneurship, especially among young people and women, can mitigate the potential increase in unemployment rates across the Mediterranean region related to the COVID-19 crisis. The MEDSt@rts project has turned the challenge of social distancing into a business opportunity by integrating its calls for aspiring entrepreneurs with new sectors, including the isolation economy. Selected candidates will be involved in a process based on training and financial advice, with an intermediate selection for the final steps of mentoring and assignment of a financial support for an amount not exceeding € 10,000.

According to Forbes, "The Isolation Economy is based on the principle that people will travel less to complete everyday activities. Instead, they will be able to complete them just as effectively from their homes. This transformation is already upon us. Going to the office is being replaced by working from home. Going to the movies or visiting the mall is increasingly a thing of the past. Schools and universities will encourage more online learning, just as doctor visits will move towards telemedicine. [...] The forced isolation has taught us how to be productive and entertained" from home. 

Check the calls for aspiring entrepreneurs launched by the project:

  • Palestine (deadline for applications is July 31st 2020)
  • Lebanon (deadline for applications is August 15th 2020)
  • Greece (deadline for applications is August 6th 2020)