Tom Holmer, former head of the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s Seafarers’ Trust, has been chosen to lead the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP). Holmer will take up his new roleat MPHRP once it becomes part of the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN).
Holmer, who is an Associate at social enterprise consultancy Public World Ltd, will take up his new role as MPHRP’s programme manager next week.
He succeeds former programme director Roy Paul.
MPHRP’s chairman Peter Swift told IHS Maritime that Holmer’s first task will be to assess the work and plans of MPHRP and the resources available in order to develop a new business programme.
The MPHRP will maintain its name once it is part of ISWAN, and final arrangements for its transition into ISWAN are currently underway, said Swift.
In future, MPHRP’s humanitarian assistance will widen its scope.
Swift said MPHRP will “look beyond piracy off Somalia” to traumatic incidents caused by violent attack (piracy, armed robbery, hostage taking) “wherever it may occur”.
Swift welcomed the drawing together of MPHRP and ISWAN as “an opportunity” to combine the respective “skills, knowledge and expertise” of both organisations.
Dr Suresh Idnani, South Asia regional co-ordinator for the International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare (ICSW) and the International Seafarers Assistance Network (ISAN), the merger of which originally formed ISWAN, welcomed the news.
Supportive of the union between ISWAN with MPHRP, Idnani said, “It is wise to avoid duplication of efforts and work as one body in the future.”
Recognising the challenges of transition with the several “administrative and legislative efforts” required, he said that “eventually it always works out for the better”.