Emergency COVID funds – seafarers in Bangladesh are the latest to benefit

Emergency packs of personal protective equipment (PPE) are making their way to seafarers in the Bangladeshi ports thanks to a US$50,000 grant from the ITF Seafarers’ Trust.

The masks, gloves and sanitizer are being supplied by the Bangladesh Merchant Marine Officers’ Association (BMMOA) and distributed to the ships by the union’s members.

BMMOA has been working hard to keep seafarers safe during the pandemic, supplying PPE to its own members – including those working in port pilotage and marine surveyors – as well as foreign crews stranded in ports across Bangladesh.

The union’s president Captain Anam said: “We want to assist seafarers of all nationalities calling at Bangladeshi ports, to help protect them from the virus, so they can return safely to their friends and family. BMMOA has a social responsibility to our seafarers and their family members. We’ve been working tirelessly all over the country to help seafarers, society and the nation as a whole.”

As well as assisting seafarers, the union has been providing PPE to members’ families that work in healthcare. They have also been delivering PPE supplies directly to hospitals to help plug the gaps where government supplies have been interrupted.

Trust director Katie Higginbottom said: “Our emergency fund is all about supporting organisations like these, quickly and efficiently. It means we’ve been able to make sure seafarers from around the globe are getting the practical support they need during the pandemic.”

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