18 NOVEMBER 2013 / The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Donates $500,000 to Assist Philippines Relief and Operations

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation announced today that it is donating $500,000 to provide emergency relief assistance and to support people affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The funds will be directed to three organizations, whose work on the region complements each other:

1.       Oxfam - USD 200,000 - Oxfam is a key player in the field of emergency relief with the ability to quickly deploy a massive emergency response. Oxfam was already involved in the Philippines with development programs in the field of water and sanitation, as well as agriculture. Last Sunday, a team of experts arrived to assess the water, public health and sanitation conditions. Emergency response started concretely on Tuesday with an Oxfam team of local, regional and UK professionals focusing on the north of Cebu, one of the worst hit provinces. On Wednesday, they started to distribute “emergency hygiene kits”. Oxfam’s area of specialization is WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) services. Their short term plan will include working with local organizations to provide clean water, shelter and sanitation; providing tents and plastic sheeting, to give people basic protection; distributing household water filters, which can clean dirty flood water; installing “pop-up” toilets, which are quick and easy to erect; and distributing food or cash when food is available locally. They plan to reach half a million people with emergency assistance.

2.       Save the Children – USD 150,000 – Save the Children has worked in the Philippines since 1981 and has extensive experience in humanitarian response to the country’s frequent disasters.  They have lent their support in the aftermath of three other Typhoons in the Philippines in the past three years. They have 100 national Filipino staff dedicated to the response effort and 26 international humanitarian response experts in logistics, child protection, emergency education, health and nutrition and water and sanitation.  Save the Children’s immediate goal is to reach 500,000 children and adults by providing shelter materials, family essentials (candles, blankets, sleeping mats, etc.), hygiene kits, newborn care kits, mobile health clinics, child protection spaces and its long-term goal is to restore children’s access to education (temporary classrooms), restore children and women’s access to health and nutrition programs, food security programs, livelihood programs (enable poor families to restore lost income) and scale up disaster risk reduction activities. 

3.       Doctors Without Borders – USD 150,000 – Doctors Without Borders has reached outlying regions of the Philippine archipelago, including some not reached yet by others, by planes, helicopters, ferries, boats, and cars.  They have over 140 staff–doctors, nurses, surgeons, logisticians, psychologists and water and sanitation experts–on the ground, treating people through the mobile clinics they have set up and by supporting what is left of local hospitals. Doctors Without Borders has sent hundreds of tons of medical and relief items (10 cargo planes), including medical kits for treating the wounded, equipment for medical consultations, tetanus vaccines and other drugs, relief items such as tents and hygiene kits, water and sanitation equipment, and an inflatable hospital. It is also providing medical treatment to reduce complications and infections. Life-saving surgeries (for major wounds and fractures) are already being performed, as is treatment for those with pneumonia and diarrhea. Management of dead bodies is also a public health issue. Doctors Without Borders is also preparing for the second wave of the disaster, where the medical response will be critical: the spread of disease (such as tetanus, leptospirosis, malaria, and dengue) given the unsanitary floodwater conditions and the mosquito populations thriving with the heavy rains. 

Typhoon Haiyan has left a catastrophic mark on its path. The first days after a natural disaster of such magnitude are very critical but also very challenging, logistically, in efforts to reach and help people,” said Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. “As a Board, and by means of our previous experiences with emergency relief efforts worldwide, we understand how important it is to act and to act fast. We are very pleased that we have the opportunity to work with three excellent organizations – all of them partners of the Foundation through previous collaborations – to provide immediate assistance to the people at the Leyte and Samar provinces in the Philippines, at a time of great need.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation typically announces grants twice a year, but has historically provided support in extraordinary circumstances, including grants for relief efforts in Greece, New York City, Myanmar, Japan, China, Haiti, Chile, and the Horn of Africa.