Together with my colleagues at the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, we have been reading with great interest your posts and messages, and we share the anxiety you all have at this challenging time.
The COVID-19 virus is now spreading to all four corners of the planet, and our world is facing unprecedented challenges. The pandemic has turned our lives upside down. Even though it is for the greater good, the requirement in many places to practice social distancing and self-isolation is no doubt adding to the difficulties you already face as victims of terrorism and testing your resilience once again.
I want you to know that you are not alone and that the UN stands with you.
The Secretary-General has emphasized that this crisis is, “…above all, a human crisis that calls for solidarity.”
Wherever you are and whatever your living situation may be, everyone is now dealing with new levels of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. Our movement has been restricted, our responsibilities have increased and the health of our families and those of our loved ones is now always on our minds. Despite these trying times, we must not forget or put aside our own mental and physical health.
Feeling anxious under these circumstances is normal. However, for victims of terrorism, these feelings may be exacerbated or activated by the previous trauma you suffered. No one should refrain from asking for help when it is needed.
I am pleased to report that my Office is still open, and that the Victims of Terrorism Unit is continuing to operate, including through this critical UN Victims of Terrorism Support Portal, which we will continue to update. The Portal has information about support organisations that can provide assistance, please visit the directory section of the portal.
The World Health Organization website has guidance about what you can do to stay safe during this pandemic, please visit https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public.
Through our continued engagement, we will work closely together to support you and all our partners. With trust in each other and respect for all, we will face this challenge and overcome it together.