Seafarers Emergency Fund
“The outbreak of COVID-19 on a global scale has brought fear and uncertainty to key workers around the world,” said Captain John Lloyd, chief executive of the Nautical Institute. “Those in the maritime sector have particular anxieties as they are displaced from home, friends, family and the other support mechanisms available to most. It has never been more important for these seafarers to have access to help in some form.”
For those seafarers, the Seafarers Emergency Fund (SEF), established a number of years ago by U.K.-registered charity the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), can provide vital financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the SEF, seafarers and their families who are directly involved in sudden or unforeseen crises can access immediate, essential aid to cover expenses such as psychological counseling, medical bills, repatriation and other unexpected costs. Already, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the SEF has paid out four grants totaling $35,048, which has assisted 608 Indian and Filipino seafarers.
Roger Harris, ISWAN executive director, said, “Many seafarers and their families are facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ISWAN is providing support around the world, like delivering food packages
to 550 stranded seafarers in Manila with funding from the Seafarers Emergency Fund.”
To support this vital financial lifeline, a group of maritime organizations has established a crowdfunding campaign to help these developing world seafarers and families most severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
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