The Seafarer International Relief Fund (SIRF) is calling on the maritime community to contribute to assisting seafarers and their families affected by Covid-19 across India
SIRF has been established to create a central fund to respond to the increasing needs of seafarers resulting from the pandemic. India, which is one of the largest providers of officers and crew to the shipping industry, has seen a severe second wave of infections which has disrupted crew changes and logistics across the industry and led to a halt in crew changes at key ports.
International Chamber of Shipping chair Esben Poulsson said, “I am calling on shipowners and all those engaged in the maritime sector to support this initiative and consider increasing your contribution to seafarer charities at this time. When faced with significant challenges, the maritime community always come together – this is what we do.”
Speaking on behalf of one of the donors to the fund, Ardmore Shipping chief operating officer Mark Cameron said, "this unprecedented crisis requires an unprecedented response from all of us. Shipping is a global family and right now, our Indian seafarers need our help.
“Many of those at sea are desperately worried about their families, as the situation in India continues to get worse. With limited contact with home, they are caught between ongoing travel restrictions and the crew-change crisis, and the understandable desire to continue working to support their families. I would urge everyone to donate to this critical appeal, so that we can deliver the support and relief that will be needed for many months to come.”
The fund has been set up by Seafarers’ Charity (formerly Seafarers UK) supported by The Mission to Seafarers, Sailors’ Society, ISAWN and has already received pledges of support from Anglo-Eastern, Ardmore Shipping, Cargill, Hafnia, IRI (Marshall Islands Flag), MSC, Pacific Basin and V.Group.
The Fund will be administered and overseen at no cost by The Seafarers’ Charity and donors will receive a copy of the impact report produced at the end of the year to show where the funds have been spent.
To donate to the Seafarers International Relief Fund visit donate.theseafarerscharity.org/sirf
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