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Republic of China (Taiwan) makes donation to piracy survivor family fund

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iswan logoOn 21 October the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) and the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium signed a Memorandum of Understanding, under which Taiwan will donate €30, 000 to a Piracy Survivor Family Fund (PSFF), administered by MPHRP on behalf of the Contact Group for Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS). The Memorandum was signed by Representative Kuo-yu Tung at the Taipei Representative Office in Brussels, and Mr. Tom Holmer, MPHRP Programme Manager. 

The Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) joins the CGPCS stakeholders in expressing their gratitude to Taiwan for this generous donation. Mr. Holmer said “we are delighted to receive this greatly appreciated grant from the Government of Taiwan to the Piracy Survivor Family Fund, which recognises the suffering of the hundreds of seafarers and their dependents who have been the innocent victims of Somali Piracy and have received no or only very limited support since their attack. It will provide a major contribution to relieve some of their resulting financial hardships as they endeavour to rebuild their lives. We look forward to being able to report on positive outcomes as we work with these seafarers over the coming months.”
The PSFF was established by the CGPCS under the EU Presidency, in 2014, to provide financial assistance to seafarers affected by Somali piracy and to their families. It fulfils a crucial role in the rehabilitation of piracy victims: since 2006 it is estimated that more than 4, 000 seafarers have been held hostage by Somali pirates and that as many as 80, 000 have been subjected to an attack. On their return home, many face continued indebtedness as a consequence of the total or partial loss of their wages during their detention, as well as
acute health problems. Bereaved families also have similar needs.
Piracy Survivor Family Fund (PSFF)
Recognising the imperative of providing financial assistance to those seafarers and their dependents who had suffered from Somali Piracy, the CGPCS took the initiative in October 2014 to create a specific fund – the Piracy Survivor Family Fund (PSFF) – to provide this support and solicited funds from the international maritime countries and communities. This initiative was widely welcomed and MPHRP was asked to administer the Fund on behalf of the CGPCS. Apart from the costs associated with currency exchanges, money transfers and account auditing MPHRP makes no charges for the administration, monitoring and reporting of the Fund’s work. Donations to the Fund to date include contributions from the governments of the UK, Denmark and Norway and the shipping industry from shipowner associations, insurance representatives and unions. Discussions are ongoing with others.
The Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP)
The Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) www.mphrp.org was established in 2010, as a not-for-profit, pan-industry alliance of industry partners, maritime unions and welfare associations (www.mphrp.org), to provide assistance to seafarers and their families affected by maritime piracy. MPHRP is an active participant and contributor to the work of the Contact Group for Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS). In addition to assisting seafarers and their families with their recovery and rehabilitation, MPHRP has developed Good Practice Guides, provided training programmes for shipping companies and seafarers, and established a network of trained welfare responders. The MPHRP Programme is managed by the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) (www.seafarerswelfare.org).
The Contact Group for Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS)
The Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) was created in January 2009 pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1851. This voluntary, ad hoc international forum brings together countries, organizations, and industry groups with an interest in combating piracy. Participating states seek to coordinate political, military, and other efforts to bring an end to piracy off the coast of Somalia and to ensure that pirates are brought to justice. More than 80 countries and several international organizations participate in the Contact Group, including the African Union, the Arab League, the European Union, the International Maritime Organization, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and various departments and agencies of the United Nations.

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