Organisations supporting seafarers impacted by the ongoing war in Ukraine feel the need to focus their efforts on providing further financial assistance, a survey shows.
According to a tally of 100 organisations from all over the world taken by the Seafarers International Relief Fund (SIRF) and Ukraine Charity Co-ordination Group, the top project they would pursue if financial support was available was providing further hardship grants.
They would also prioritise mental health support, SIM cards and wireless internet, legal support and support for lobbying efforts to allow Ukrainian seafarers to return to work.
“To understand how we can best continue to support those impacted by the Ukraine crisis, we wanted to hear from those who have been working so hard to help seafarers and their families,” said Seafarers’ Charity chief executive Deborah Layde, speaking on behalf of SIRF.
“We received a wealth of feedback that brings to life how the maritime community has mobilised across the globe in support of seafarers, as well as highlighting what they see as the most urgent priorities.
“SIRF and the Ukraine Charity Co-ordination Group will be studying these results carefully as we develop our next steps.”
Of the significant challenges facing Ukrainian seafarers in the coming months, the surveyed organisations said limits on travel to and from Ukraine were the most prominent.
Mental health and wellbeing were the second most pressing, followed by issues around extended contracts and finding new contracts.
As it stands, nearly all Ukrainian seafarers are unable to work as martial law prevents men from the ages of 18 to 60 from leaving the country.
Some senior seafarers are interested in returning to work, however, as an export corridor has been established through the Black Sea to facilitate Ukrainian grain shipments.
The SIRF launched its fund to support Ukrainian seafarers in March, less than a month after Russia began its invasion.
The fund is managed by the Seafarers' Charity and made grants to the International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network and the welfare fund of the Marine Transport Workers' Trade Union of Ukraine, Mortrans.
SIRF said the surveyed organisations came from all over the world, including charities, trade associations, welfare providers, unions and shipping companies.