Money managers and investors have joined forces to help stop a humanitarian crisis at sea, brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eighty-five investors, led by Fidelity International, are working to help more than 400,000 seafarers stranded at sea because of the coronavirus outbreak and to preserve the long-term sustainability of global supply chains.
Investors have written an open letter to the United Nations outlining a number of measures that need to be put into effect including calling for the official designation of seafarers as "key workers" and putting in place testing regimes; raising awareness of the scale and risks the crisis is creating for workers and sustainable supply chains; and urging charterers, particularly those working on a frequent basis, to be flexible where shipping companies request a route deviation to allow for crew changes.
Signatories including Boston Common Asset Management, Lombard Odier Investment Managers and MFS Investment Management have agreed to engage relevant portfolio companies and communicate their expectations about these measures.
Many of the workers have been at sea for up to 17 months — beyond the regulatory limit of 11 months, a news release said Wednesday. More than 400,000 workers are also waiting to replace those at sea. These workers often receive little or no pay, the release said.