03 JUNE 2014 / The SNF supports flood relief and recovery efforts in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina

In recognition of the urgent need for emergency relief for millions of people in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Board of Directors of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation approved an emergency grant of €300,000, in active support of the relief and recovery efforts in response to the recent devastating floods.

Through this grant, the Foundation is taking direct action and providing immediate and substantial relief to the residents of Serbia and Bosnia, supporting the humanitarian aid actions carried out in the area by European and international organizations.

The unprecedented magnitude and duration of the floods that took place in Serbia in Bosnia in mid-May caused severe damages with enormous repercussions, as the floods affected a large number of residents, hundreds of buildings and infrastructure, and entirely destroyed thousands of crops, dealing a harsh blow to the agricultural sector, which is one of the main areas of economic activity of the two countries.

The Foundation’s grant will be directed to international non profit organizations that develop humanitarian action in the affected areas, as well as to a local foundation, which is in a position to both identify urgent needs and focus on a long-term response.

In particular, the SNF is providing grants to the following organizations:

  • Oxfam – Oxfam is a key player in the field of emergency relief with the ability to quickly deploy a massive emergency response, especially in the field of water and sanitation.
  • Red Cross – With its 189 national Societies, and associated local emergency headquarters, the Red Cross is usually among the first to intervene in the evacuation phase. With the Civil Defense, the Red Cross Societies of Serbia and Bosnia are coordinating the international emergency effort and have been involved in early evacuation procedures.
  • Mozaik Foundation – Founded in 2002, Mozaik Foundation is a community development foundation that provides grants and advisory support for local initiatives throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. It focuses on local resource mobilization and the social and economic development through implementing programs that support initiatives in rural communities. In response to the crisis a Solidarity Fund has been set up and, with the support of the European Foundation Center, of which the SNF is a member, an appeal has been launched.

Andreas Dracopoulos, co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, stated: “Extensive natural disasters that affect millions of citizens and bring about substantial socioeconomic consequences demand immediate intervention from all organizations, as well as the contribution, to the extent that it is possible, of philanthropic foundations, to provide assistance to all those in need. The emergency situation that Serbia and Bosnia found themselves in, in the space of a few days, motivated the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to take immediate action and support recovery efforts in both countries, lending moral support to our fellow human beings who are being tested during this difficult time”.

Above and beyond its regular grant making activities, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has typically provided emergency grants to support areas affected by natural disasters. This grant in support of Serbia and Bosnia reflects the Foundation’s philosophy, through which it has previously provided support for Haiti, Japan, Chile, China, Pakistan, Somalia, the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines (November 2013), and the earthquake stricken Kefalonia (March 2014).