International seafarer welfare charity, the Mission to Seafarers, has signed an agreement with the Panama Maritime Authority for the provision of seafarer welfare services.
The memorandum-of-understanding (MoU) between the two parties will see the Mission to Seafarers become the first maritime charity to operate in Panama.
It will recognise the work of seafarers in Panama and will enable the Mission to Seafarers to establish welfare services at all major Panamanian ports, including the Panama Canal.
Credit: The Mission to Seafarers
As part of the agreement, the Panama Maritime Authority has also agreed to support and facilitate the creation of a new body to promote and assess the needs of wellness installations of seafarers in Panama.
Speaking about the MoU, Andrew Wright, Secretary General, Mission to Seafarers, said: “We are proud of our global network of seafarers’ centres, which spans over 200 ports and 50 countries, and today’s agreement is a vital piece in this jigsaw, given the importance of Panama as a maritime hub and the essential role of the Panama Canal in international shipping.
“We are grateful to the Panama Maritime Authority for their support for seafarer welfare and their commitment to ensuring that all crews in Panamanian waters have access to welfare and wellbeing services.
“This agreement between the Mission and the Panama Maritime Authority will enable the many thousands of seafarers who pass through the Panama Canal and who call at Panama’s ports to have access to our wide range of professional chaplaincy services, whenever they need it.”