Funding Campaign Launched for Developing World Seafarers


Published Apr 5, 2020 7:59 PM by The Maritime Executive

A charity crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise funds for developing world seafarers and their families that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

While much of the shipping industry take their responsibilities to their seafarers very seriously, there is still a real challenge facing many seafarers from the poorer regions of the world, says Campaign Coordinator Gavin Allwright, Secretary General of the International Windship Association. Many are in lockdown with casual contracts and unable to work; others are facing difficulties due to lockdowns when they leave ships and are unable to return to their families with costs and little income coming in. There are even some 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 income in order to get by and the situation is likely to get far worse before it gets better.  

“We warmly welcome this initiative as we are receiving more and more calls from seafarers to our helpline SeafarerHelp,” says Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN. “Many are from Filipino and Indian seafarers whose lives are being adversely affected by the Covid 19 pandemic.”

There are an estimated 15,000 Indian seafarers stranded on 500 cargo ships worldwide, and about 25,000 more stranded on cruise ships.

ISWAN will ringfence the donations from this campaign ensuring that 100 percent of all funds raised will be made available to developing world recipients and all administration costs will be covered by the charity. 
The campaign is supported by international maritime organisations including; ISWAN, World Ocean Council, the North American Marine Environment Protection Association, The Nautical Institute and the International Windship Association.

The funding page is here.