14 DECEMBER 2015 / The SNF provides Second Emergency Relief Grant in response to the relentless 
Refugee Crisis in Greece

The Board of Directors of the SNF approved today a grant of €1,000,000 to support a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including Doctors Without Borders Hellas, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Lifeguards Hellas, among others.

The new emergency relief grant will address the mounting humanitarian repercussions of the continual refugee influx, and provide critical support and infrastructure for the growing number of organizations and on-site volunteers, who are assisting in the crisis. 

After visiting Mytilene and meeting with key stakeholders and NGOs, the Foundation has granted additional support to Doctors Without Borders Hellas, a long-time SNF grantee, for ad hoc emergency response across Greece with the provision of shelter and non-food items (NFIs). With impending winter weather conditions, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) will be supported in its emergency aid efforts in North Mytilene, while Lifeguards Hellas and Doctors Without Borders Hellas will be supported in their life saving rescue missions at sea. Furthermore, support to Starfish, a grassroots volunteer group, aims to help the organization expand its infrastructural capacity to absorb and retain the volunteers arriving from all over the world to help. 

Additionally, the Foundation will be contributing to the European Program for Integration and Migration (EPIM) sub fund for the inclusion of Unaccompanied Minors (UAMs), as part of a comprehensive strategy to protect this vulnerable population in designated European countries. SNF’s contribution will help shape and lead the pan-European initiative in Greece.

“The magnitude of the refugee crisis has created an unstable and unsustainable environment,” said Myrto Xanthopoulou, Program Coordinator of the Foundation’s Social Welfare team. “Having witnessed the situation on the ground, and following discussions with NGOs that provide critical support, the Foundation understands the growing humanitarian needs and will be supporting a number of strategic collaborations that will hopefully contribute towards minimizing suffering and strife, especially among the weakest and most disadvantaged populations.”  

This new emergency relief grant follows on the heels of an earlier grant of €750,000 to Doctors Without Borders Hellas and the International Rescue Committee, approved in late September 2015. The first relief grant supported the emergency response efforts of the grantees in certain islands of the Northern Aegean, Dodecanese, and in Northern Greece.

During its almost 20  years of grant-making activity, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, in addition to its regular grant-making activity, has provided 60 emergency relief grants responding to urgent and extreme needs all over the world (Nepal-earthquake, West Africa-Ebola, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina-floods, Philippines-Typhoon Haiyan, New York-Sandy, Chile-earthquake, Haiti-earthquake, Japan-tsunami, Kefalonia-earthquake, etc.)