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Global Relief Initiative for the Covid-19 Pandemic

Grants made as part of the initiative focus on research, access to food and other necessities, education, mental health support for specially affected populations, emergency relief for artists, support for frontline staff, and more. They are going to existing grantee-partners, first-time grantee organizations, collaborative emergency funds, and directly to frontline hospital staff in Greece.

SNF grants made to both individual nonprofit organizations and collaborative funds focus on ensuring access to food, education, childcare, and other essentials; offering mental health support to populations specially affected; providing emergency relief to artists; and equipping frontline responders.

Access to Food and Essentials
Even before the pandemic hit, food systems were not sufficiently serving everyone, leaving strong disparities in access across and between communities. Food insecurity and strain on distribution systems have only increased as longstanding financial insecurity comes to a head in the crisis. 

Supporting Local Communities

Confronting a crisis that affects every sphere of life but with unequal impacts requires a perspective that is at once holistic and granular. Community foundations and community-based organizations are uniquely positioned to implement a coordinated, comprehensive response that meets the particular needs developing across their region in real time. 

Mental Health and Health Care Support

The deleterious effects of the pandemic on mental health are widespread and SNF grants have gone toward immediate psychological support for frontline workers, seniors, children, and other vulnerable populations.

A Financial Foundation for Equitable Recovery

Grants will help marginalized populations across the U.S., at the level of both individuals and small businesses, position themselves for future economic stability and success.

Maintaining Urban Public Space

A grant will help keep the city’s public spaces open for New Yorkers as they rely on them more than ever. 

  • City Parks Foundation: New York: Maintaining and improving the parks New Yorkers are depending on more than ever through the NYC Green Relief and Recovery Fund, which provides urgent relief to the stewardship nonprofits managing the city’s outdoor public spaces.   

Emergency Relief for the Arts

With performance venues and cultural institutions abruptly shuttered, artists and arts organizations face sudden precarity at a time when they are called to be agents of community wellbeing. SNF has supported emergency relief for individual artists and small to medium-sized arts organizations.

Education and Supportive Networks for Young People

While it feels like much of life is on hold, it’s not possible to hit pause on a young person’s education and development. Grants to educational and youth support organizations cover gaps created by the pandemic to help ensure that every young person has the opportunity to keep growing and learning even as the pandemic heightens existing educational inequalities.

Protective Equipment for First Responders

A grant to the New York City Fire Department’s not-for-profit arm will help make sure those on the frontlines of the fight against the pandemic are properly equipped.

  • FDNY Foundation, New York: Providing personal protective equipment to first responders, including much-needed masks to help keep EMTs and paramedics safe on duty as they continue to serve on the front lines 


SNF grants focus on supporting the efforts of healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 and enabling young people to continue pursuing education in a time of disruption.

In addition to the grants below, SNF partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies to support Vital Strategies’ Resolve to Save Lives initiative, enabling rapid-response grants to governments and provide support to frontline workers across Africa as they combat the pandemic. 


Grants to organizations based in Spain will help people in eight countries access essential food, health, education, and hygiene resources.


Grants aim to help children in four countries overcome the barriers of the pandemic to keep learning and receive the medical care they need.

SNF grants focus on helping deliver food, basic necessities, psychological resources, and educational support, and other aid to people in France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

Access to Food, Mental Health Support, and Meeting Other Essential Needs


Two grants active in the UK and across Europe aim to help provide long-term stability to one of the most vulnerable populations, people on the street and without homes.


Greece has a special place in SNF’s heart and work, being our birthplace. Particularly cognizant of the fact that Greece has been in the process of overcoming a deep ten-year socioeconomic crisis, SNF has given special care to addressing immediate needs and risks specific to the nation in collaboration with the public sector. 

Access to Food and Clean Clothes

Mental Health Support

A comprehensive effort with the Greek Ministry of Health to provide psychological support in response to needs engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic

Direct Support for Frontline Greek Hospital Staff

Under the current circumstances, the Foundation is taking the extraordinary step of providing $7.5 million in support directly to the most critical element of the country’s health system: individual hospital staff. An SNF gesture of appreciation to be shared equally among more than 4,600 frontline nurses, doctors, and cleaning personnel working in ICUs at COVID-19 clinics will acknowledge the altruistic efforts of these heroes on the front line of efforts against the pandemic in Greece who risk their lives to save others.

Bolstering health infrastructure in Greece through collaboration with the public sector is a longtime and continuing focus for SNF, which is already in the middle of a more than $400 million Health Initiative in the country. As part of this effort, renovation of the second ICU and the ER at Evangelsimos Hospital in Athens is underway through a partnership between
SNF and Thanasis and Marina Martinos.

Support for ICUs and Testing

A more than $17.9 million grant from SNF supports the renovation of facilities in 15 hospitals around Greece to accommodate the addition of 155 Intensive Care Units  and 19 High Dependency Beds, as well as professional training for ICU medical staff.

SNF will also support a five-year training program for doctors and nurses working in ICUs. Following SNF’s five-year grant, the training program will be continued by the Greek state.

Following the project schedule, facilities for 145 new ICU and HDU beds have already been delivered at the following hospitals: KAT, Evangelismos, Attikon University General Hospital, Paidon Agia Sofia, Ippokrateio Hospital Athens, Korgialenio-Benakio, Tzaneio, Vostanio Lesvos, Lamia General Hospital, G. Gennimatas, Agios Dimitrios and Ippokrateio in Thessaloniki, Agios Georgios in Chania, Venizelio in Heraklion and the University General Hospital of Heraklion. Beds in the new facilities are expected to serve more than 6,500 patients each year.

The remaining renovation work at Evangelismos General Hospital and the University General Hospital of Heraklio (PAGNI) is currently suspended in accordance with guidelines set by the Ministry of Health, since their status as COVID-19 referral hospitals does not allow work to be performed on their premises at this time.

In May 2020, a €7.7 million grant—made as part of SNF’s Health Initiative—was completed for procurement of equipment at Evangelismos, including 850 beds, out of which 53 are destined for ICUs, HDUs, and the Heart Attack Unit. The grant contributed to upgrades in the services of more than 10 departments, including the Emergency Room, the Artificial Kidney Unit, and the operating rooms, in addition to the ΙCUs, the HDUs, and the Heart Attack Unit. 

SNF is also making a more than $4 million grant to significantly bolster Greek health services’ ability to test widely for COVID-19 and consequently implement data-based measures to contain the virus. The grant will provide two molecular testing systems and 240,000 units of reagent, aiming to significantly increase Greece’s daily testing capacity. One of these new systems will be placed at the Hellenic National Blood Transfusion Center (EKEA) in Athens, where the majority of current testing is taking place, and the other will go to the Blood Center at AHEPA Hospital in Thessaloniki


To further its immediate efforts to help the vulnerable around the globe, SNF has made a flexible $3 million grant to aid UNICEF’s global COVID-19 response initiatives in the key areas of educational access, psychological services, and supporting those on the front lines with protective equipment and basic emergency supplies. UNICEF’s unparalleled network, including the organization’s Supply Division that operates the world’s largest emergency supply warehouse, makes it uniquely suited to getting vital goods out quickly where they are needed most.

  • Young 1ove Organization, Nepal and Kenya: Delivering remote mathematics instruction in Kenya and Nepal using low-tech methods, developing programming to translate proven remedial education techniques to remote learning, and sharing findings to improve education systems

Another multi-continent grant to Lifebox aims to help meet a basic but critical need in healthcare settings in countries across Africa, Central and South America, and Asia.

  • Lifebox: Supplying pulse oximeters, critical in care for COVID-19 patients; conducting country-specific training workshops; and making interactive online training available


Our ability to track the spread of the disease will be critical to how the coming months take shape. SNF is proud to support Johns Hopkins University with a $3 million grant in the immediate launch of a much-needed COVID-19 Testing Insights Initiative to provide governments, businesses, and the public with comprehensive testing data paired with expert analysis and guidance. The initiative is the outcome of longtime collaboration between SNF and many areas of Johns Hopkins University, including the Berman Institute of Bioethics, and will provide efficient access to the information needed to make crucial decisions moving forward.

A $3 million SNF grant to The Rockefeller University, expanding on a longstanding partnership, bolsters round-the-clock research related to COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it underway in 18 Rockefeller labs.

A grant to the Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital will help create a biobank open to all researchers with the purpose of understanding the impact and behavior (including transmission patterns) of COVID-19 in children and pregnant women, as well as a public-facing, multilingual informational site.