29 SEPTEMBER 2015 / The SNF provides emergency relief support as a response to the ongoing refugee crisis in Greece

The Board of Directors of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation approved today a grant of €750,000 to Doctors Without Borders Hellas and the International Rescue Committee, in support of their emergency response efforts to help address the refugee crisis in certain islands of the Northern Aegean, Dodecanese, and in Northern Greece.

Following an internal assessment of both the ongoing deteriorating humanitarian situation, due to the constant influx of refugees and migrants, as well as the nonprofit organizations actively involved in providing emergency relief assistance, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation is responding to the need for increased emergency and humanitarian support. Both Doctors Without Borders and the International Rescue Committee have been long-term grantees of the SNF, providing emergency relief support to people in need around the world. The organizations have established a presence at the different entry islands over the last 4-5 months, providing critical emergency relief and complimentary services to refugees, including medical, consultation and cleaning services, the provision of basic supplies and essentials, and improvements to the water and drainage systems, in close collaboration with local authorities. 

“The ongoing crisis has reached critical levels”, said Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. “The Foundation recognizes the need for emergency humanitarian support. We are fully aware of the fact that the magnitude of the crisis is such that requires a much broader and official collaborative intervention and approach, but we believe that the extensive experience of both of our partners in addressing such situations around the world can help bring an impactful humanitarian response, which is a priority at this stage.”

In addition to Doctors Without Borders Hellas and the International Rescue Committee, the SNF also supports the efforts of organizations who are undertaking smaller scale humanitarian initiatives, including the recent work of a team of doctors and nurses, organized by grantee Regeneration & Progress, providing medical and primary health care services to refugees in the islands of Mytilene and Agathonisi, in early September, under the auspices of the Ministry of Health. 

During its 19 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.)