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SNF announces $1 million in emergency relief grants to aid those affected by war in Ukraine

Apr 13, 2022
As we confront the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, the devastating consequences of the invasion of Ukraine are reverberating around the world, threatening the lives and welfare of people in Ukraine and far beyond.

A cluster of new grants from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) seeks to help organizations leverage their local knowledge and ties to deliver essential emergency relief.

“SNF’s grantmaking is flexible by design, allowing us to respond to needs as they arise,” said SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos. “The dire needs in Ukraine are plain to see, and we must collaborate, each according to our abilities, to help meet them. But we also need to keep sight of the fact that in our global, interconnected world, war in Ukraine can cause suffering halfway around the world and work to mitigate these widespread effects. We are grateful for these six organizations and the extensive on-the-ground experience they bring to helping address this tragic situation.”

Three of the organizations included have had an established presence in Ukraine and neighboring countries since before the invasion that focuses reaching those most in need. They go where others will not and take a system-wide view, they work with the essential local grassroots organizations too often overlooked for international aid, and they seek to reach the most marginalized among vulnerable groups. Another of the six is working with Ukrainian refugees arriving in Greece, and two are large international organizations seeking to mitigate the deadly fallout around the world from the war’s indirect effects.

Direct aid on the ground in Ukraine and neighboring countries

  • Doctors of the World Spain, the vast majority of whose local staff are Ukrainian, is supplying traumatology and surgical materials to 20 hospitals in Ukraine. Where safety allows, the organization is also continuing to provide primary, reproductive, and mental health care to those who are most vulnerable, including older adults, people with disabilities, and people who have been internally displaced. They have a safety corridor to serve the country’s west between Chernivtsi, Ukraine, and Siret, Romania, and are setting up mobile health units including for mental health and psychosocial support.
  • Choose Love works with local grassroots organizations to aid vulnerable people on the move, and in Ukraine they are helping provide essentials like food, hygiene supplies, and bedding. In Poland, Moldova, and Romania, they are supporting emergency shelters and programs for longer-term accommodation, welcome and inclusion efforts, and Ukrainian-led translation and legal assistance.
  • Lumos Foundation seeks to end the institutionalization of children and has worked in Ukraine, which before the invasion had one of the highest rates of children living in orphanages and other institutions in Europe, for nearly a decade. Since the war began, the organization has been providing emergency packages of food, hygiene items, and medical supplies to children and families in Odessa and the Zhytomyr region. They have also been working to support the safe relocation of children from institutions, provide packages and financial support to emergency foster parents, offer mental health “first aid,” and build capacity to help children access child protection, health, and education services.

Supporting Ukrainian refugees arriving in Greece

  • Melissa Network network is taking a pioneering bottom-up approach to supporting Ukrainian refugees in Greece: assisting existing Ukrainian networks in the country in offering a coordinated response, services to safeguard children’s resilience, psychosocial support for new arrivals and locals alike, help accessing employment, and legal services. Most of the hundreds of people arriving each day to join the established Ukrainian community in Greece are women and children, and the networks Melissa partners with are primarily women-led.

Addressing the immediate threats the war poses to people around the world

  • Save the Children USA is working to address the global food emergency threatening to increase hunger and malnutrition for millions of children, triggered by the fact that together Ukraine and Russia supply over a quarter of the world’s wheat and the war is cutting off essential food supplies for many countries. The organization’s Global Hunger Crisis Fund seeks reach children facing new and worsening crises in countries around the world, including in Western Asia and the Horn of Africa.
  • Doctors Without Borders USA wants to make sure that, as the world’s attention focuses on Ukraine, the people affected by “neglected” crises elsewhere in the world are not forgotten and receive the health care they urgently need. The organization’s Emergency Relief Fund allows it to respond in a timely manner to the most pressing crises around the world, including in countries from Western Asia to South Asia and in central Africa. As funding from Western governments diminishes, this support becomes more and more critical.

SNF’s grantmaking strategy is based in continually assessing existing needs, new needs that arise, and how best to address both—not only in terms of immediate relief, but also of long-term recovery. The Foundation will continue to monitor developments in Ukraine closely and to look at the broader perspective of how they affect people around the world.