Seafarers’ Trust Calls for Renewed Support for Expiring Piracy Response Program
The Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Progamme (MPHRP) was launched during the height of maritime piracy to provide humanitarian support to the victims of piracy and their families. The programme received funding from several groups, funding which is set to expire at the end of March.
The ITF's (International Transport Workers' Federation) Seafarers' Trust, one of the programme's core sponsors, has pledged to continue funding in a statement released today, but has called for the MPHRP to become part of an existing charity by the end of 2015, citing ISWAN as an example of an optimum home for the programme.
Trust funding enabled the MPHRP to make a significant contribution to the welfare support of seafarers, and their families caught up in and affected by armed robbery and piracy attacks. According to the MPHRP website, core funding also came from the TK Foundation and Seafarers UK.
Although there has been a significant reduction in piracy incidents since 2011, especially among those emanating from Somalia, the Trust argued it would be wrong for the wealth of experience built up by the MPHRP to be lost by the ending the programme. Piracy is up in Southeast Asia, and just last week, maritime security company MAST Ltd. warned shipping lines about underestimating piracy in the Indian Ocean. The Trust stated that due to the shift in piracy trends, the programme will need to refocus its work.
"The MPHRP has done some good work for the benefit of seafarers and their families who have experienced considerable trauma. While Seafarers’ Trust funding was for a finite three years, the trustees believe that the MRHRP deserves the opportunity to continue its good work despite the sharp reduction in piracy incidents since 2011," said David Heindel, chair of the trustees of the Seafarers’ Trust.
"However, we feel the time is right for the programme to move under the umbrella of an existing, established charity by the end of the year, and the continued support of the Trust and the new funding is to encourage this. We believe being within an existing charity, such as ISWAN, the MPHRP humanitarian response work will be capable of being continued in the long term.”