IOCC Helps Syrian Refugees on Chios

IOCC Helps Syrian Refugees on Chios

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News from our sister ministry, the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), the official international humanitarian organization of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America:

IOCC RELIEF EASES HARDSHIP FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES AND GREEK HOSTS

October 20, 2015 (Baltimore, MD)— In spite of worsening weather on land and sea, the number of refugees from Syria and other war torn countries landing on the Greek isles this year has surpassed 500,000. Greece remains the busiest entry point for new sea arrivals in the Mediterranean. Overwhelmed Greek island authorities lack the resources to continue feeding refugees as the country struggles to address the needs of its own people affected by the economic crisis now in its sixth year.

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), and its partner, Apostoli, the humanitarian arm of the Church of Greece, are responding to the most urgent needs of vulnerable refugees with food assistance and helping ease some of the strain on Greece’s refugee relief efforts. IOCC is providing up to 1,000 hot meals and water daily to refugees landing on the small Greek island of Chios, and up to 1,000 meals and water daily for refugees on the island of Samos. All food sourced by IOCC for the refugees is being prepared by local restaurants to help support the local economy on these small islands.

The influx of Syrian refugees arriving at Chios island’s outdated immigration reception center also have access to shower and sanitation facilities upgraded by IOCC so that they can take care of their personal hygiene in privacy. In addition, IOCC has distributed sleeping mats, sleeping bags, personal hygiene kits, infant supplies, and school kits to refugees and school-aged refugee children arriving at the center.

Even as Greece carries on in its efforts to receive refugees on its shores, IOCC continues to address the needs of Greece’s people facing hunger as a result of the prolonged economic crisis. Since 2012, IOCC is supporting the distribution of dry food parcels, prepaid grocery cards, and hot meals at church-run soup kitchens in Athens.

IOCC, an ACT Alliance member, is providing immediate and ongoing humanitarian assistance to families in need who have endured four years of Syria’s brutal civil war. More than 3.2 million Syrian people displaced in their own country, or living as refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Armenia, Greece, and Serbia have received assistance from IOCC.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

You can help the victims of poverty and conflicts around the world by making a financial gift to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund which will provide immediate relief, as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift, please visit iocc.org or call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, MD 21297.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES

IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has delivered $534 million in relief and development programs to families and communities in more than 50 countries. IOCC is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 140 churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy, and a member of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.–based secular and faith-based organizations working to improve the lives of the world’s most poor and vulnerable populations. To learn more about IOCC, visit iocc.org.

Media contact: Rada K. Tierney, IOCC Media Relations, 443-823-3489, rtierney@iocc.org

CAPTION: Hundreds of tired and hungry Syrian refugees with little more than a backpack carrying all of their worldly possessions arrive daily on the Greek island of Chios. Many are mothers with small children, along with a growing number of unaccompanied teens as young as 14. IOCC is responding to their urgent needs with ready to eat meals and helping ease some of the strain on Greece’s refugee relief efforts. photo: IOCC/Apostoli

 The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is committed to the support of her sister agencies under the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops.  This includes IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities).  “In the spirit of Christ’s love, IOCC offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination, and strengthens the capacity of the Orthodox Church to so respond”.  IOCC has undertaken significant initiatives to help those in need.  Notably 92% of every dollar donated to the IOCC directly helps those affecting dire situations.

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IOCC Relief

IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North and Central America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has delivered $438 million in relief and development programs to families and communities in more than 50 countries.

IOCC offers many ways to become involved in supporting the humanitarian mission of IOCC. To learn more, please visit our website at www.iocc.org or call us toll-free at 877-803-4622.