Global Summit Cancelled
It is with great sadness that we have had to cancel the Global Summit in March 2020.
The Secretariat’s Senior Management Team has reviewed the implications of the current international spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus. After being informed by the available information and analysis; the potential risks for the participants; as well as the financial risks for GNDR, and the potential reputational impact, we decided to cancel the Global Summit.
We are sorry to have to convey this disappointing news to members and other participants, and we are particularly sorry to those members that have already invested their own funds to attend.
We recognise and appreciate that many members have committed a lot of time to preparing their sessions. We also appreciate the large amount of work that has been undertaken by GNDR member organisation and host of the Summit, RAED.
FAQs about Global Summit cancellation
Is the Summit cancelled or postponed?
Ideally, we would like to rearrange the Summit for later in the year when travel is safer. However, we will first need to assess the financial implications of cancelling the Summit. It is likely that we will need to fundraise in order to deliver the Summit in future. We will also need to assess staff availability and see if the risk from the Coronavirus reduces over the coming months. We cannot therefore commit to holding the Summit later in the year, but it will certainly be our intention.
Why is the Summit cancelled?
The GNDR Secretariat has been continually assessing the risk posed by Coronavirus and on Friday carried out detailed scenario-planning. We deemed the likelihood of anyone catching the virus at the Summit low, but the impact incredibly high, given the possibility of spreading the disease to up to 70 countries, the financial implications of quarantining 150 people for two weeks, and the reputational issues of a DRR charity not preventing risk effectively. However, the highest risk was the high likelihood that someone at the Summit presented with flu-like symptoms. In such a scenario, we would have to treat the member as if they were presenting with symptoms of COVID-19, meaning that we would have to ask everyone to self-isolate until there was a formal diagnosis. The financial implications of this happening could be very high, with flights having to be rescheduled and potentially paying for people to stay for extra nights in the hotel. Given the high likelihood of this latter scenario occurring, it was decided to cancel the Summit.
Will GNDR reimburse me for any costs that I have lost (including visas, flights and hotel costs)?
Your first step should be to check with your travel agent and insurance company whether this cost will be reimbursed by them, though it is our understanding that many are not reimbursing costs unless the destination country (Egypt) is considered high risk by your government. Unfortunately, GNDR is not in a position to reimburse costs that members have invested in attending the Summit. We are incredibly sorry to those members that stand to lose money due to the cancellation. Sadly, this is one of the risks of attending a global event such as the Summit.
I had planned to stay for extra nights in Egypt. What happens about this?
You are still free to travel to Egypt in your own time, but you will need to purchase your own flights as we will be cancelling the flights purchased for the Summit. If you had planned to stay extra nights in the hotel, but will not now use them, please do make sure that you contact the hotel to let them know.
What are the financial implications for GNDR?
The Secretariat is currently assessing how much money we can recover, depending on the different cancellation policies for various service providers for the Summit. It is hoped that we can recover the majority of the costs, particularly as we were able to cancel the hotel contract within the 14-21 day period, but we will not know the final figures for a few days, once all providers have been contacted.
What are the next steps?
The Secretariat will be looking at how to launch our new Global Strategy online, and how we can discuss the conclusions from Views from the Frontline. As soon as we know more, we will share this via the Community Platform and on the GNDR website, so please do keep checking both sites for more information. We will try to re-organise the launch of both the new GNDR strategy and the VFL conclusions online on the same dates (i.e. 15-19 March), but this may not be possible. We will keep you updated.