Relief Funds

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Seafarers Emergency Fund

The Seafarers Emergency Fund (SEF) has been setup by The TK Foundation and the ITF Seafarers' Trust. The fund is administered by ISWAN.

The Seafarers Emergency Fund is to provide immediate, essential aid to seafarers and families of seafarers, who are directly involved in unforeseen crises. This Fund is available to seafarer welfare organizations and other welfare organizations, hereinafter known as "Applying Organization" to provide the means to purchase goods and/or services for seafarers and/or the spouse or children of seafarers to relieve the need(s) brought on in relation with an unforeseen crisis. 

Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Fund and Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, Piracy Survivor Family Fund

These two funds are administered by ISWAN, and are for the charitable benefit of seafarers and their families who have been affected by piracy. The Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) fund is for seafarers and families who have been affected by Somali piracy, the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Fund (MPHRF) has no geographical limits. Other organisations have also assisted with funding specific needs of seafarers and their families, so we encourage applications from any seafarers, or seafarers welfare organisation, or seafarers’ family, where piracy has caused hardship.

Thousands of seafarers have been held hostage by pirates and most shipping companies have ensured that the seafarers and their families do not suffer financially as a result of piracy, on top of the trauma of attack and captivity. However, in some cases companies have become bankrupt as a result of the piracy, or left seafarers and families otherwise unsupported, leading to additional suffering, hardship and trauma for the seafarers' families during the period of captivity, and homecomings to impoverished families and no support for reemployment or rehabilitation.

Prompted by the needs of seafarers to have the reassurance of an organisation to help in cases of hardship, the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme has, with its partners in the insurance and maritime industry, launched a Fund which will help by providing small but effective, grants to seafarers and their families for expenses such as:

help for medical care


travel costs

school fees for their children

rent when the family is faced with eviction

and, in extreme cases, food to keep them alive.

A 16 year old schoolboy in Sri Lanka achieved excellent results in his exams. His mother could only afford to pay school fees for two semesters because his father had been held by pirates for two years and the shipping company was not paying his salary. MPHRF paid the school fees for the next semester so that he could continue his studies towards university.

A seafarer returned home to India after two years in captivity with tuberculosis and no-one to help him. MPHRF ensured that he was treated and paid medical expenses.

A seafarer in the Philippines was too traumatised to be able to go back to sea after a piracy incident which left two of his colleagues dead. CGPCS funds paid for support, medical expenses and eventually assisted in buying a motorcycle taxi for him to earn a living.

A number of hostages held for years in Somalia would have returned to their countries empty-handed. CGPCS provided a grant to make sure that they had some money for necessities when they returned home.

For further details please read the section on how to apply and then make contact with ISWAN.

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