WISTA (Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association) has conferred with Nathalie Shaw, ICS Director of Employment Affairs, together with the leaders of ISWAN, ITF, ICMA and other worldwide partners to set up guidelines for cooperation and collaboration to assist seafarers impacted by the typhoon in the Philippines and to set up an Philippines Industry response plan. Extracts from WISTA president, Karin Orsel's letter to members follows:
"We are forwarding you what we have agreed upon to do on the short term and are working on a longer term plan as houses and schools are destroyed. We will keep you fully updated and would like to receive your feedback on any initiative you might have taken or are planning.
Our next meeting will be tomorrow, in the meantime the following has been agreed:
ISWAN (The International Seafarers' Welfare & Assistance Network) will coordinate the response effort and liaise with maritime medics, ministers, those on the ground etc. & will circulate links to resources & information.
AMOSUP (The Associated Maritime Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines) are sending their training vessel tomorrow with UN aid and will be seconded for the next few months to do this. ITF (The International Transport Workers' Federation) will find out what assistance they may need in this regard.
The NSA training Centre is co-ordinating efforts on the ground and we will be finding out from them if there is any practical support being officially requested.
Please do not send people or funds immediately to help unless a specific request is sent for specific skills or personnel. The Red Cross and others are on the scene and will inform all as the needs unfold. We will try to coordinate this as a central group. Until the Filipino authorities know themselves what is needed and how best this can be achieved we should wait.
ICMA (the International Christian Maritime Association) will coordinate amongst themselves to organise fundraising and which agencies will be best capable of delivering this on the ground.
If you hear of any seafarers who need to talk please encourage them to contact either the ISWAN helpline 080073232737 or to contact the various missions in the respective ports. They will do all they can to offer practical assistance."