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Image credit: SNF_Andreas Simopoulos

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has announced the first round of grants under its $100 million Global Relief Initiative to help alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty-five grants totalling over $31 million USD focus on food, mental health, and health needs in some of the hardest hit regions of the United States and Europe, as well as worldwide, and on aiding health care staff on the front lines in Greece.

“We cannot overstate the impact of the pandemic on society at large, and we owe our deepest gratitude to those who continue, in spite of the immense challenges they face daily, to serve the most vulnerable among us. Within our lifetimes, the need has never been greater. Our collective response will have to be both swift and forward-looking; these immediate grants represent the first step from SNF on a long path, as the effects of the pandemic will be with us for a long time,” expressed SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos.

SNF has allocated 8.1 million USD to Greece to the National Health System, including a thank-you bonus to medical, nursing and cleaning staff at intensive care units (ICUs) in all Covid-19 dedicated hospitals in Greece, a total of 5,000 individuals.

“Greece has a special place in SNF’s heart and work, being our birthplace. Particularly cognisant of the fact that Greece was in the process of starting to overcome 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,” the statement read.

Access to Food:

  • Central Union of Greek Municipalities (KEDE), Greece: Providing food supplies through Social Food Outlets in municipalities around Greece for the immediate support of people suffering from the socioeconomic effects of the pandemic. The grant will be implemented with the collaboration and supervision of Deloitte to ensure fast, effective, and transparent distribution of the supplies.
  • Boroume, Greece: Implementing a transparent voucher system in coordination with Greek municipalities to provide impacted families with food in the middle term of the crisis, implemented from September to December 2020.

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.

SNF will also fund many actions around the world, according to its press release:

In France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, it will give grants totalling over $1.35 million to 10 NGOs to provide, as in Greece, access to food and mental health support.

In Africa, “working in collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies, SNF will make a $3 million grant to Vital Strategies’ Resolve to Save Lives initiative. This will enable rapid-response grants to governments across Africa to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including understanding the impact of social distancing on hunger and communication and dissemination of accurate health information. The grant will also provide support directly to frontline workers throughout Africa, including vital infection control training.”

In the United States, “SNF grants totalling $5.93 million, made to both individual nonprofit organisations and collaborative funds, focus on ensuring access to food and other essentials, offering mental health support to populations specially affected, and providing emergency relief to artists.” Specifically, $3.63 million will go to nine organisations for access to food, $1.5 million to five organisations providing immediate psychological support for frontline workers, seniors, children, and other vulnerable populations and $800,000 will go to three collaborative funds for emergency relief to individual artists and small to medium-sized arts organisations.

SNF is also granting $3 million each to Johns Hopkins University and Rockefeller University for research and testing.