The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has announced a new €15 million grant for the immediate relief efforts for those affected by this year’s fires, as well as to long-term firefighting preparedness.
“Our thoughts are with the family of volunteer firefighter Vasilis Filoras, who lost his life while fighting the fires, with everyone who has been injured or hospitalized, and with all those who have lost their homes and livelihoods. We are deeply saddened by the destruction of huge forested areas that act as “green lungs” for Greece and are home to a diversity of wildlife—much of which is threatened by the fires.
“Once again, those on the front lines of the fires—firefighters, volunteers, and people joining together to save neighbors, animals, houses, and whole communities—have become the everyday heroes of a dystopian reality,” read the announcement.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is well known for its emergency funding initiatives through grants made over the last 25 years with the aim of protecting people and Greece’s natural environment from the dangers of fire.
“Recognizing the importance of long-term planning, material assistance, and cooperation across every sector of society, SNF has allocated over €44 million towards firefighting, out of a total of €1.7 billion in grants made in Greece since 1996.”
From 1996 to today: SNF grants to the Hellenic Fire Corps
Since the beginning of its grantmaking activities in 1996, SNF has regularly supported the Hellenic Fire Corps through grants totaling over €44 million. These include the aforementioned grants for the procurement of personal protective equipment, the construction of a Firefighting Training Center, and the implementation of training programs, as well as the purchase of the Super Puma helicopter that has aided firefighting efforts for a number of years. Moreover, SNF has supported the Hellenic Fire Corps in the purchase of 15 firefighting vehicles and the construction of a training center for the 1st Special Disaster Response Units (EMAK), and has also provided equipment for volunteer firefighters on the islands of Cephalonia and Samos. In addition, SNF has supported a long-standing Fire Corps staff-training program on forest fires, with participants spending time with the British Columbia Wildfire Service in Canada then training their colleagues in Greece upon return.