ISWAN-MPHRP consistently provides assistance to families affected by maritime piracy. Regular assurance calls and visits are priorities of the programme especially for the families of seafarers who are still in Somalia. The programme provides emotional, psychological and practical support. The charitable funds are provided by the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, and medical and educational support has been generously given by the Sailors Society. While some needs can be met, the resources of the programme are limited and cannot fully sustain all their needs, so much of the burden of support falls on extended families.
A certain mother of a piracy hostage in Somalia was helped with medical assistance due to her painful appendicitis. The family struggled to send the mother to the hospital for a check-up and medication and was forced to go further into debt to provide the necessary treatment for her. The indebtedness started when the hostage decided to go to sea and they mortgaged their small rice plantation just to complete all the necessary requirements for him to go on board the ship. But unfortunately the dream became a nightmare to the family when the seafarer was captured by Somali pirates.
The programme was able to help the family for medical expenses and a small subsistence allowance as well. In addition, the land has been redeemed back for the family to help them survive since there would be no other alternative resources for them because they are situated in the agricultural capital and farming is the only way. The family expressed their heartfelt gratitude and said that they will never forget what has been done to help them. Jun Pablo, the ISWAN representative in the Philippines, said “Through this kind of service provided to the affected families, truly we can say that the word humanitarian can be best remembered.”