“You are not alone. You are not forgotten.” So said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim in a personal message to seafarers everywhere, assuring them that IMO understands the unique problems they face during the coronavirus pandemic and has been working tirelessly at all levels to find solutions for them.
Mr Lim said he had been “deeply touched by the many stories we have heard from individual seafarers of the challenges, hardships and sacrifices that seafarers have made to keep the global supply chain moving while helping the global population.” He noted the difficulties the maritime industry has faced in conducting crew changeovers, providing medical care for sick and injured crew and allowing for shore leave, and added, “The inability to resupply or repatriate crews concerns me greatly.”
Describing seafarers as being in the “front line” of the global fight against the pandemic, Mr Lim said, “All of us at IMO understand the challenges you face.” He concluded, “To all seafarers, my message to you is strong and clear: We are listening. We hear you.”