International Port Welfare Partnership

‘A content, fit and healthy seafarer is a safer and more productive seafarer’ so the saying goes.  Yet “Life at Sea” has never been easy. Today’s seafarer has to be both physically and mentally fit to cope with the loneliness and isolation of working and living at sea.

Larger, more specialised ships, smaller, multinational crews and shorter turnaround times can mean long hours, language and cultural barriers, limited social interaction which can cause stress, as well as affecting seafarers’ emotional, spiritual and mental health.

So, what’s the industry going to do about it?  How can the shipping industry protect its greatest asset – its’ seafarers?

Welcome to the International Port Welfare Partnership Programme!

Supporting governments and ports wishing to establish Welfare Boards, the IPWP Programme provides a 24/7, online “one stop shop”, a comprehensive, centralised “maritime hub” offering information, advice and guidance via a dedicated website and bespoke database of port services and facilities.

Following a successful pilot project funded by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) programme, developed and managed by the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, is funded by the TK Foundation, Merchant Navy Welfare Board, Seafarers’ UK and, once again, the ITF Seafarers’ Trust.

With an industry-wide Programme Executive Committee representing Shipowners, Unions, Port Authorities/Owners, Government, Maritime Funders and Voluntary Organisations, the IPWP Programme is committed to tri-partite working and international collaboration, to improve seafarers’ welfare in ports, worldwide.

Over the next few years the programme aims to develop a global network of welfare boards and port welfare contacts for the benefit of seafarers and welfare providers, alike.

If you’re interested and want to find out more about Seafarers Welfare Boards and why they are so important to the health and wellbeing of our serving seafarers, please visit the programmes dedicated website

The IPWP is an International Seafarers’ Welfare Assistance Network (ISWAN) programme that is funded by

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