An immediate grant of 25 million euro to the Greek Fire Department was announced by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) on Monday. It has been a week since more than 90 people were devastatingly killed in Greece’s worst wildfire in a decade hit the seaside resort of Mati, east of Athens. The grant was given “in order to contribute to the difficult work of the men and women… fighting for the protection of the country’s residents and its natural resources.”
In a statement, the SNF said the grant will cover the maintenance and the potential procurement of equipment for the fire department, as well as training programs to help towards the prevention of and immediate response to emergencies.
Over the past 20 years, the SNF has supported the fire service through a series of grants exceeded 19 million euro, including 15 new firefighting trucks, Eurocopter Super Puma helicopters and training program collaborations with other countries.
“This national tragedy, which has cost the lives of so many and destroyed the households of thousands, requires that all of us, as a society, find ways to provide a collective remedial response. Even more importantly, it requires a collective effort to prevent the future recurrence of these tragic events that have marked the lives of many of our fellow citizens,” the SNF said.
Through this new initiative, the SNF hopes “it will also contribute, as much as possible, to address a grave national issue – one that goes beyond politics – in a manner that unites the country’s leading forces against the current and widespread polarization.”