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 sudden and 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 a sudden and unforeseen crisis.
Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Fund
0ver 4,000 seafarers have been held hostage by Somali pirates and whilst many shipping companies have reacted well, several have not which has led to additional suffering, hardship and trauma for the seafarers' families during the period of captivity. Also after returning home many seafarers experience what MPHRP now calls
"From the Hell of Captivity to the Hell of Release"
While many millions of dollars are being poured into Somalia by various government and other bodies, virtually nothing is being offered to seafarers and their families who need help to survive captivity and to recover and settle at home again.
Help for families in Captivity
While seafarers are being held hostage there is little that can be done to help them or care for their personal needs. However, know-ing that someone is taking care of their families and that there will be someone to help them on release gives them reassurance.
Prompted by the needs of seafarers to have this reassurance 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 to get help
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 has 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 has paid the school fees for the next semester so that the schoolboy can continue his studies towards university.
A 6 year old in Bangladesh needs medication for a heart problem that his family cannot afford as his father is being held hostage. MPHRF is paying for his medicine and food until his father returns home.
A seafarer returns home to India after two years in captivity with tuberculosis and no one is there to help him. MPHRF ensures that he is isolated and taken straight to his local hospital and then pays his medical bills as he will take a few months to recover.
After 1,000 days in captivity, having been abandoned by the ship's owner, a seafarer returns home to Ghana to face eviction as his rent has not been paid - where do his young children live now? MPHRF has assisted with his arrears and relocation.