Financial institutions in Cyprus have extended support for seafarers affected by the Russia-Ukraine crisis, allowing them to breathe a little easier
As the international sanctions and the crisis persist, both Russian and Ukrainian seafarers remain unable to access their wages. The former due to the sanctions, and the latter due to being unable to get to an authorized bank that recognizes their account books to get their savings out for survival.
The Russian and Ukrainian seafaring workforce making up 14.5% of the entire seafaring population. Add that to their families, and it makes for a large group of people who are running around desperately, unable to find any means of getting by to the next month.
Glimmer of hope for seafarers and their families
The stepping up of the Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) is a sigh of relief for all seafarers and their families. There will be two main payment schemes for seafarers. One, provided by Cyprus Commercial Banks, which makes up the following banks – Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank and Eurobank. The other, is facilitated by the Members of the Association of Electronic Money & Payment institutions (ACEMPI) through ECOMMBX or SEPAGA, both e-account banking services.
Through the two schemes, seafarers and their families can now get support for accessing their wages by contacting the dedicated liaison officers of the institutions. Seafarers can apply for the schemes personally, or get help from their ship manager.
Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister Cassilios Demetriades commented on their decision to support seafarers, saying solutions to problems can be found through flexibility and consideration to the unique situation, “Seafarers are at the heart of shipping operations and it is essential that the industry makes flexible arrangements to existing ship management structures. Seafarers have encountered extraordinary circumstances during the past few years and need to be supported as a priority.”
Indeed, more action needs to be taken to support seafarers and provide them with the reassurance that their services are valued and appreciated. Given that there is a massive shortage and demand for seafarers worldwide, this olive branch offering may work in the favour to talent retention within the industry.
Crewing Online Media Team
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