WOC supports launch of emergency funding campaign for seafarers

World Ocean Council Supports Call for Assistance to Mariners Impacted by Coronavirus Pandemic

WOC supports launch of emergency funding campaign for seafarers

The World Ocean Council (WOC) – the Global Blue Economy Business Organization – invites support for the charity crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for vulnerable seafarers and their families as the COVID-19 pandemic affects those with less secure financial and health resources.

All funds raised will go to the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), a UK registered charity, and dispersed through their Seafarers Emergency Fund (SEF). Their membership includes seafarer associations throughout the developing world alongside shipping companies and shipping organizations.

Along with our colleagues at ISWAN, the WOC encourages the maritime industry, the international business community and the general public - all of whom depend on the global shipping industry - to show their support for the seafarers who are severely affected by the pandemic.

Many seafarers from the poorer regions are facing real challenges due to COVID-19. Some mariners are in lockdown with casual contracts and are now unable to work; others are facing difficulties due to lockdowns when they leave ships and are unable to return to their families; there are even reports of seafarers being shunned on their return to their homes for fears of the virus. There is also the issue of their families not having sufficient income to support themselves, with the situation likely to get worse.

Roger Harris, Executive Director, International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network, said:

“We warmly welcome this initiative as we are receiving more and more calls from seafarers to our helpline SeafarerHelp. Many are from Filipino and Indian seafarers whose lives are being adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds raised will be used to assist seafarers and their families who are facing hardship because of the pandemic.”

Paul Holthus, Founding President and CEO, World Ocean Council, said:

“The men and women working in shipping and the other ocean industries that make up the ocean economy are vital to all of us in this time of crisis. They are essential to ensuring that supply chains of food, medicine, energy and other goods keep operating. Please help support them as they are faced by the additional challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic is imposing on them.”