The Karaiskakio Foundation will officially begin to receive state support via the annual state budget from 2023, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Tuesday evening.

Anastasiades was speaking during the event “Bone Marrow Donors of the Year 2021-2022” held at the presidential palace to honour seventy-six volunteer bone marrow donors, organised by the Karaiskakio Foundation.

“Since 2015 – and I have no doubt that since its inception the respective governments must have certainly supported the work of the foundation – our own government has given financial assistance to the Foundation to support the donor record, amounting to €2.8 million,” he noted, adding that from next year the foundation will be included in the budget.

The Karaiskakio Foundation is a non–profit organisation established with the sole purpose of organising a volunteer bone marrow donor registry.

Anastasiades said the achievements of the Karaiskakio Foundation honour Cyprus and its people, proving that the scientific displacement of Cyprus is much greater than its size, and added that the important work carried out by the Karaiskakio Foundation, as well as its international acclaim, could not leave the government indifferent, which is why we “support and strengthen” its operation.

“It is sufficiently indicative to mention that the board of directors and the management and scientific team that staff it have succeeded in creating, in proportion to the population, the largest registered bone marrow donor registry in the world, the second largest public umbilical cord blood bank, while the work of the specialised Children’s Cancer Centre has proven to be of the utmost importance for the study and development of paediatric oncology”, he added.

He also noted that as a result of the state’s actions, funding was secured for the establishment of the Research Centre for the Study of Haematological Malignancies (Cshm), where an amount of €1 mln was allocated over the last two years to support its research activity.

For her part, president of the board of directors of the Karaiskakio Foundation (KF), Dr. Popi Kanari, noted that 50,000 patients worldwide search for a compatible donor annually and 50 per cent of them find a donor from other countries.

“This in itself gives us more responsibility, but also makes us proud as we continue to have the largest per capita bone marrow donor record worldwide with over 200,000 volunteer donors and having given transplants to 690 patients from 35 countries,” she pointed out.