As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect millions around the world, the Global Center remains committed to the health, safety, and well being of our team, partners, and the communities we serve. Over the last several months, we have adapted how we work so that we can safely advance our mission, coordinating with our partners and beneficiaries to ensure they have the means to manage risks safely and shifting to virtual program delivery where necessary.

The pandemic is worsening conflict dynamics and resource deficits and will continue to place enormous burdens on healthcare providers and humanitarian actors. The pandemic will harm those who are already the most vulnerable and exacerbate the conditions that give rise to conflict and violent extremism. Terrorist and violent extremist groups are leveraging this global crisis to spread disinformation and increase polarization. We need to maintain our vigilance to uphold the rule of law, advance human rights, defend fundamental freedoms and push back on the normalization of emergency measures and heavy-handed, authoritarian responses taken to contain the virus which may serve to reinforce terrorism and violent extremism narratives.

While the pandemic has challenged our operations, it underscores the urgency of our mission. We continue to conduct research and deliver programming across sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and South, Central, and Southeast Asia to:

1. Support communities in addressing the drivers of conflict and violent extremism.
2. Advance human rights and the rule of law to prevent and respond to violent extremism.
3. Combat illicit finance that enables criminal and violent extremist organizations.
4. Promote multilateral cooperation and rights-based standards in counterterrorism.

When the pandemic finally recedes, the Global Center will remain with our partners to build more integrated global responses, stronger community resilience, and improved state-society relations to better withstand such shocks in the future.

Wishing you health and well-being.

Eelco Kessels
Executive Director

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