SIRF Impact

The Seafarers International Relief Fund (SIRF), a central charitable Fund to respond to emergencies affecting seafarers and their families, was established in 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Managed by The Seafarers’ Charity and supported by The Mission to Seafarers, ISWAN, Sailors’ Society, Stella Maris and other charities, urgent support was delivered in key seafaring communities initially in India and later in the Philippines.

In March 2022, the SIRF launched SIRF Ukraine Appeal, in response to the humanitarian disaster caused by conflict in Ukraine, to provide emergency support to seafarers and their families devastated by the crisis.

SIRF is now extending its emergency support to seafarers and their families devastated by the crisis in Ukraine and is calling on the maritime and shipping industry to help the seafaring community.

To date SIRF Ukraine awarded a total of £353,499 in grants to deliver emergency support for seafarers, funding a wide range of essential human welfare needs, including shelter, food, water, transport, access to medical services, as well as providing hardship grants for those in greatest need.

The following grants have been awarded:

£10,000 awarded to Aberdeen Seafarers Centre

to support 25 Ukrainian seafarers working from Aberdeen and Peterhead ports with short-term accommodation costs for a total of 442 bed-nights. A further grant of £10,000 was awarded in October this year to support mainly single Ukrainian seafarers who are on a 5-week rest break from working at sea and who have no family in other European countries and do not want to or cannot return to Ukraine.

£84,700 awarded to Stella Maris

to provide accommodation for 30 days for 44 people at Stella Maris’s Recreation Centre at Kashuby, Gydnia, Poland. Apart from accommodation facilities, the Centre also provided regular meals, toys, dedicated space for online learning with free access to the Internet, and SIM cards without limit to keep contact with loved ones. £7,650 was awarded to cover costs of arrival packages for refugees to include clothes, blankets, toiletries, and other essentials

£140,099 awarded to Ukraine Crisis Support Fund (UCSF)

launched by International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) to help provide immediate and urgent financial support to seafarers and their families directly impacted by the Ukraine crisis. Since the inception of the Fund, ISWAN has received over 800 applications comprising mostly of Ukrainian seafarers, some Russian, and a few Nigerian and Filipino seafarers. Consequently, due to limited funds, the criteria were revised to give priority to seafarers and their families who came from severely affected regions like Kharkov, Kherson, Mariupol, Donetsk, and Nikolayev regions, with 569 total beneficiaries paid up to US$500 each to cover expenses ranging from medical bills, children’s educational support, rent deposits, living and transport costs. Two families received US$1,000 each as the seafarer had died due to the Ukraine crisis.

£108,700 awarded to The Welfare Fund of Maritime Transport ’MORTRANS’

established by the Marine Transport Workers’ Trade Union of Ukraine (MTWTU), to help pay for transport, rent deposits and other basic needs of affected seafarers, including shelter, food, water and medical services.

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