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UAE announces program to provide medical care and maritime education to seafarers

The United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure launched a new initiative on Saturday to further support seafarers.

The ‘Salmeen’ initiative was announced on Seafarer’s Day, which is celebrated internationally on June 25 every year.

The program is designed to provide quality medical care, maritime education and training to people working on ships, the ministry said.

It also aims to identify and eliminate physical and social barriers through effective cooperation between the public and private sectors.

The initiative is being carried out to improve the quality of life of those employed in the industry and to help address the challenges they are facing due to the pandemic and related travel restrictions.

It will make businesses and shipowners responsible for supporting seafarers and providing them with comprehensive protection.

The ministry said it has a monitoring system in place to ensure the rules are followed.

He also announced several initiatives in the past to support seafarers and protect their rights.

In August last year, the department launched the Supporting Our Blue Army program, which gave sailors the same consideration as frontline health workers.

As part of this initiative, a Cabinet Resolution has been issued that obliges all vessels in UAE waters or ports to ensure seafarers’ rights.

An agreement was also signed with the International Transport Workers’ Federation to strengthen cooperation in supporting seafarers.

This ensures that adequate material and moral support is provided to seafarers in the UAE – including free medical treatment and Covid-19 vaccines and allows for crew replacement if necessary.

Operators of merchant tankers and other commercial vessels that abandon ships also face financial penalties.

More than 214,000 seafarers confined to ships have been assisted in the replacement process and returned to their home countries during the pandemic.

The UAE is a logistics hub. It connects global shipping lines and receives the largest number of ships heading to ports in the region with more than 21,000 ships annually, the ministry said.

More than 27,000 local and international shipping companies operate in the UAE, with more than 17 million containers handled in the country’s ports each year.

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Updated: June 25, 2022, 1:55 p.m.

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