Report to the June 2016 meeting of the CGPCS

The Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, Piracy Survivors Family Fund

May 2016

The CGPCS Piracy Survivors Family Fund (PSFF) provides funds for the survivors of Somali piracy, and for their families, to assist with financial hardship and to provide support at a time of need. The fund is held in pounds sterling by ISWAN and administered on behalf of the CGPCS.

Affected families can get directly in touch with ISWAN through the 24 hour helpline, more often referrals come through the field workers of ISWAN / MPHRP, who are on hand in Asia and able to signpost survivors and families to the fund. There are other means of assistance which are not financial, such as help finding work, or referrals to other agencies to deal with wage or contractual claims.

Once referred, the details are presented to ISWAN on a form, and the merits of funding applications considered by four independent people connected to the shipping industry and knowledgeable about piracy and the humanitarian needs of survivors and families. When agreement is reached, funds are paid to the applicant, and follow-up made to ensure the funds are spent appropriately.

The contributors to the fund since it started have been as follows:

12/02/2015 Forsvarskommandoen Denmark  £  12,892.52
17/02/2015 Norsk Sjomannsforbund  £  1,590.30
18/02/2015 Norsk Sjooffisersforbund  £  1,592.44
19/02/2015 Det Norske Maskinistforbund  £  1,628.54
16/03/2015 FCO United Kingdom  £  20,000.00
16/04/2015 Den Norske Krigsforsikring  £  3,277.09
27/04/2015 Norges Rederiforbund  £  3,232.97
29/10/2015 Government of Taiwan  £  20,603.00
04/12/2015 Den Norske Krigsforsikring £   3,319.00

 

These donations have provided a total of £68,135.86, currently the equivalent of USD 99,600. The table below covers the payments made by the fund since its inception in 2015. Donations are made in USD.

 

Name

Country

Ship

Grant allocation

USD

Date

1

Claire

Philippines

Naham 3

house repairs and building

 $ 3,260

13/07/2015

2

Akes

Philippines

Naham 3

living expenses

 $  600

21/12/2015

3

Antomio

Philippines

Naham 3

living expenses

 $  600

21/12/2015

4

Ha

Vietnam

Naham 3

school fees

 $ 2,440

31/12/2015

5

Xuan

Vietnam

Naham 3

school fees

 $ 2,440

31/12/2015

6

Phan

Vietnam

Naham 3

medical expenses

 $ 2,250

31/12/2015

7

Sosan

Cambodia

Naham 3

repairs to house

 $ 1,000

14/01/2015

8

Shahriah

Iran

Albedo

dental treatment

 $ 5,387

08/03/2016

9

Rowell

Philippines

Eglantine

motorcycle taxi

 $ 1,920

21/03/2016

10

Larisa

Ukraine

Ariana

medical treatment

 $  876

17/02/2016

12

Maryjane

Philippines

Naham 3

training to become a teacher

 $ 1,681

19/04/2016

13

Rodelo

Philippines

Free Goddess

schooling for two children for one year

 $ 1,370

20/04/2016

14

26 hostages

various

Naham 3

ex-gratia payment USD 500 pp

 $ 13,000

Provision made but payment awaiting release of hostages

15

3 hostages

Vietnam

Naham3

reception when released

 $ 2,992

16

4 hostages

Cambodia

Naham 3

reception when released

 $ 4,555

17

5 hostages

Philippines

Naham 3

reception when released

 $ 3,275

18

14 hostages 

China, Indonesia and Taiwan

Naham 3

reception when released

 $ 9,000

Provision made, but still seeking contact with families

 

 

Funds expended or committed total USD 56,646, leaving a balance of funds of USD 42,953.

 

Hostages currently held in Somalia:

The Naham 3 seafarers, 26 surviving out of 29 taken four years ago, made up of seafarers from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, and the Siraj seafarers, 14 – 17 of them (estimates vary) still held now for just over one year.

Siraj: ISWAN / MPHRP is making efforts to find the families of the hostages in Iran, in order to discover how they are managing and whether the programme is able to offer any assistance. We are also seeking someone in Iran who is involved in the negotiations to free the hostages to make sure that they are in touch with the Hostage Support Partnership, and John Steed in Mombasa.

Naham 3: there have been occasions over the past nine months when it seemed as though the release of the hostages was about to happen. As a result, we have plans in place for the reception of the hostages once released, which involve a managed reception of the hostages when they arrive in their home country; for the families of the hostages to travel to meet with them at the airport of arrival, and to spend two days together before they travel home. Professional support, medical and psychological, will be available if needed during this time. This has been prepared in Cambodia, Vietnam and Philippines. In Taiwan, the one remaining family with a hostage in captivity do not want support at this time. In addition to this, it has been agreed to provide USD 500 to each of the hostages so that they do not go home with nothing. ISWAN / MPHRP is still working to contact the families of the hostages in China and Indonesia, who have been very difficult to find.

The Naham 3 hostages and their rehabilitation remain the largest likely call upon the PSFF.

The future:

Some of the survivors of Somali piracy still need assistance, apart from the Naham 3. There has been an emphasis on providing funds to assist with the earning of a living where possible, or assisting with capital expenses or medical expenses which are a huge strain on the financial resources available in families without a breadwinner.

There are other funds which have also assisted survivors and their families, and who have helped in a number of cases. Seafarers UK will assist UK and Commonwealth citizens who have been affected by piracy, and have helped seafarers and families in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The Sailors Society has a particular emphasis on assisting with education and medical expenses, and have also helped those in need applying through ISWAN / MPHRP over this period. This has meant that we have been able to make the PSFF funds go further.

There is a need for funds for piracy survivors who are the victims of pirates in West Africa, and also because of the hostage taking in South East Asia. We are appealing for funds from donors to do this for the MPHRF, the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Fund, which provides help for seafarers of any nationality who have been the victims of piracy or armed robbery anywhere in the world.

 

Case histories:

1/ Philippines: Rowell, survivor of the Eglantine

PSFF provided USD 1,920 for a motorcycle taxi, permits and licence to enable a seafarer to earn a living.

Rowell has needed assistance since his return from the release of the Eglantine from Somali pirates in 2012, when two Filipino seafarers died. He has not been able to go back to sea, and the programme has worked with him and with his young family, to assist in his mental and physical rehabilitation. Jun Pablo, ISWAN / MPHRP in the Philippines, reported: “Rowell received the last and final financial assistance from MPHRP by providing him a tricycle taxi which was the most effective way for him to earn the subsistence for his family. Along with the purchasing of the tricycle unit is the processing of the tricycle taxi franchise in the City Hall of Tarlac City which will be finished as soon as the registration papers from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will be available…the tricycle taxi is also subject for membership to the association of tricycle operators and drivers (TODA) which I found very accommodating to Rowell.” This was delivered to him in April 2016. He has named the vehicle ‘Piracy Survivor’ and can be seen here with his wife and children, and Jun Pablo of ISWAN / MPHRP who has worked with Rowell over the last four years.

CGPCS Rowell

 

2/ Vietnam: Phan, current hostage of Naham 3 in Somalia

PSFF provided USD 2,250 for medical treatment for his mother.

Phan supports his mother and father, aged 58 and 72 respectively. Partly due to the worry of the absence of her son, his mother had a serious cerebrovascular accident (a stroke) in November 2014, and she has had further incidents needing hospitalisation since then. Capt. Viet Ahn, for ISWAN / MPHRP in Vietnam, explained: “She has been hospitalized and treated in Binh Duong and in Ha Noi, 2,000 and 300 kilometres away from her home respectively. Most recently, she was just admitted in the district hospital then immediately conveyed up to the provincial hospital for better treatment because of serious illness. So far she is treated in Binh hospital, leaving the house in the home village with no one living in it. No one except the patient’s husband (Phan’s father) undertakes escorting and taking care of the patient. The hospitalizations and treatments are considerably high in cost for them. Three hospitalisations for the mother, which has cost the family VND 25 million per treatment, has meant costs for them of over VND 75 million in total (USD 3,400).” The programme agreed a contribution towards these costs to assist with the expenses of treatment.
The photograph shows the parents of Phan, with Capt Viet Anh.

CGPCS Phan

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