The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) announced that it is donating $500,000 to provide emergency relief assistance and to support people affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The funds will be directed to three organizations, whose work on the region complements each other.
Oxfam will get $200,000 to help deploy its resources specializing in water and sanitation as well as agriculture. Save The Children will receive $150,000 as will Doctors Without Borders.
“Typhoon Haiyan has left a catastrophic mark on its path. The first days after a natural disaster of such magnitude are very critical but also very challenging, logistically, in efforts to reach and help people,” said SNF co-President Andreas Dracopoulos.
“As a Board, and by means of our previous experiences with emergency relief efforts worldwide, we understand how important it is to act and to act fast. We are very pleased that we have the opportunity to work with three excellent organizations – all of them partners of the Foundation through previous collaborations – to provide immediate assistance to the people at the Leyte and Samar provinces in the Philippines, at a time of great need.”
SNF typically announces grants twice a year, but has historically provided support in extraordinary circumstances, including grants for relief efforts in Greece, New York City, Myanmar, Japan, China, Haiti, Chile, and the Horn of Africa.
A team of Oxfam field agents began emergency responses on the north of Cebu, one of the worst-hit provinces to distribute emergency hygiene kits. Their short-term plan will include working with local organizations to provide clean water, shelter and sanitation; providing tents and plastic sheeting, to give people basic protection; distributing household water filters, which can clean dirty flood water; Installing “pop-up” toilets, which are quick and easy to erect; and distributing food or cash when food is available locally. They plan to reach half a million people with emergency assistance.
Save the Children has worked in the Philippines since 1981 and has extensive experience in humanitarian response to the country’s frequent disasters. They have supported three other Typhoons in the Philippines in the past three years. They have 100 national Filipino staff dedicated to the response effort and 26 international humanitarian response experts in logistics, child protection, emergency education, health and nutrition, and water and sanitation.
Save the Children’s immediate goal is to reach 500,000 children and adults by providing shelter materials, family essentials (candles, blankets, sleeping mats), hygiene kits, newborn care kits, mobile health clinics, child protection spaces and its long-term goal is to restore children’s access to education (temporary classrooms), restore children and women’s access to health and nutrition programs, food security programs, livelihood programs (enable poor families to restore lost income) and scale up disaster risk reduction activities.
Doctors Without Borders has reached outlying regions of the Philippine archipelago, including some not reached yet by others, by planes, helicopters, ferries, boats, and cars.
It has more than 140 staff – doctors, nurses, surgeons, logisticians, psychologists and water and sanitation experts – on the ground, treating people through the mobile clinics they have set up and by supporting what is left of local hospitals.
Doctors Without Borders has sent hundreds of tons of medical and relief items (10 cargo planes), including medical kits for treating the wounded, equipment for medical consultations, tetanus vaccines and other drugs, relief items such as tents and hygiene kits, water and sanitation equipment, and an inflatable hospital and is providing medical treatment to reduce complications and infections.
Life-saving surgeries (for major wounds and fractures) are already being performed, as is treatment for those with pneumonia and diarrhea. Management of dead bodies is also a public health issue. Doctors Without Borders is also preparing for the second wave of the disaster, where the medical response will be critical: the spread of disease (such as tetanus, leptospirosis, malaria, dengue) given the unsanitary floodwater conditions and the mosquito populations thriving with the heavy rains.
SNF is one of the world’s leading international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and medicine, and social welfare. It funds organizations and projects that exhibit strong leadership and sound management and are expected to achieve a broad, lasting and positive social impact. It also seeks actively to support projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as effective means for serving public welfare.
From 1996 until today, SNF has approved grant commitments of $1.41 billion through 2,582 grants to nonprofit organizations in 109 nations around the world. Excluding the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), SNF’s funding is equally divided between grants in Greece and international ones.
Concerned with the continuing socioeconomic crisis in Greece, SNF announced in January 2012 a grant initiative of additional $130 million (€100 million) over three years to help ease the adverse effects of the deepening crisis. Since then, and as part of the initiative, the SNF has committed grants totaling $100 million (€77.2 million) in support of numerous not-for-profit organizations around the country.
In October 2013, SNF announced a new longterm initiative, Recharging the Youth, to help create new opportunities for Greece’s younger generations. SNF is committing €100,000,000 to help the future prospects of young people, who are severely impacted by critically high unemployment rates, currently exceeding 60%.
SNF’s largest single gift ($796 million / €566 million) is SNFCC. Construction works at the site have already begun.
SNF firmly believes that the project is of national importance, even more so under the current socioeconomic conditions. It remains a testament and a commitment to the country’s future, at a critical historical juncture. It is also an engine of short-to-midterm economic stimulus, which is essential under the current circumstances.