23 JANUARY 2012 / Extraordinary times demand extraordinary actions: The Stavros Niarchos Foundation commits $130 million to help ease the adverse effects of the current crisis in Greece

The Board of Directors of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, concerned with the socio-economic crisis in Greece, has committed up to $130 million (€100 million) over the next three years to help ease the adverse effects of the deepening crisis.

This decision comes on the heels of a $1.9 million (€1.5 million) grant with supporting a series of pilot programs addressing the country’s mounting social needs. 
The Foundation’s purpose and philosophy, which focuses on vital issues in Greece as well as the rest of the world, remains to complement rather than replace the work of  state and institutional organizations. Funds will be made available only to grantees that have the capacity and ability to utilize them effectively.
“The crisis is rapidly reversing decades of economic growth,” stated Andreas C. Dracopoulos, Co-President and Member of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Board. “Our commitment is to those most in need but is also a promise to future generations. Not only do we intend to offer immediate relief by funding social welfare and health programs, but we will invest in educational programs that should help ensure that the current crisis does not condemn future generations. We hope that today’s announcement will inspire many other organizations and individuals that can and must help to do the same.” 
The Foundation has already received inquiries from individuals, who inspired by its initiatives, have expressed their willingness to co-invest together with the Foundation toward this effort and the future of Greece.
Today’s announcement comes as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Athens, by far the Foundation’s largest single gift (€566/$790 million), approaches the beginning of the construction phase, with excavation works already in progress at the site. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation firmly believes that the project is of national importance, even more so under the current socio-economic conditions. It remains a testament and a commitment to the country’s future, at a critical historical juncture. It is also an engine of short- to mid-term economic stimulus, which is essential under the current circumstances.

 

The main purpose of the €100,000,000 ($130,000,000) is to help alleviate the severe consequences of the financial crisis and assist those most in need to navigate through these difficult circumstances in the less painful way possible. For that reason, we are directing our support to non-for-profit organizations that focus on helping those that are most vulnerable. However, the crisis is far reaching and is impacting every level of society, including non-for-profit organizations of every shape and form that have been offering valuable services to the public in many different areas. Many of such organizations have experienced a severe reduction in their budgets, and have seen support wither away. As a result, they are facing a serious crisis that is restricting dramatically their ability to function properly and to offer many of their programs and services. Although, some of these organizations and their programs may not serve directly the purpose that defines the initiative, we have chosen selectively to support a small number of them, since we believe that their services have a significant impact, and that the loss of such services at a time like this will be a major loss to society at large.   



Thank you letter to the Foundation by the Ambassador of Greece to the US
Congratulatory letter to the Foundation by Chris Tomaras
Congratulatory letter to the Foundation by the Archbishop of America, Demetrios