The International Association of Ports and Harbors has partnered with The Seafarers’ Charity to help port workers and their families in Ukraine.
The initiative reflects the vision of various labor unions and maritime charities that have worked to support seafarers affected by the conflict, but applies it to workers ashore.
The main Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov have been targeted by Russian forces since the start of the conflict in late February.
“Ukrainian seaports are on the front lines of the war, as demonstrated by the siege of Mariupol and the heavy fighting around Berdyansk and Kherson,” IAPH and The Seafarers’ Charity said in a joint statement.
“The environment is chaotic, dangerous and fast-moving, with other Black Sea ports, such as Odessa, under threat.”
The association and charity said the continuing violence and uncertainty is causing people to flee their homes and become separated from their families.
“In some areas, water, electricity and phone connectivity have been affected, with many people now unable to contact loved ones.”
They said workers and their families currently need the basics of human welfare, such as housing, food, water, transportation, access to medical services and practical financial assistance.
However, needs are expected to evolve as the conflict continues and communities, port cities and futures are rebuilt.
The association and association intend to work alongside current and potential future partners to identify and address other social needs.
They said the funds raised by the initiative will be distributed to delivery partners operating in Ukraine, including the Trade Union of Maritime Transport Workers of Ukraine, to facilitate support for port workers and their families.
The International Relief for Ukrainian Port Workers initiative was inspired by the Seafarers International Relief Fund, which is also administered by The Seafarers’ Charity but provides support to seafarers affected by a wider range of crises.