International Orthodox Christian Charities Response to the Crisis in Syria
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) supports one of the largest established networks to deliver life-saving humanitarian aid inside Syria where more than 12.2 million people are currently in need of assistance, 7.6 million of which are internally displaced. In addition to its work inside Syria, IOCC staff is working regionally to address the growing needs of more than 4 million refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Armenia, Greece, and Serbia, as well as people in need in those host countries.
Responding to one of the worst humanitarian and refugee crises in history, IOCC is one of the few international nongovernmental organizations working on the ground across Syria to provide aid to people who have been displaced inside the country by the civil war. In providing this aid, IOCC works in close partnership with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.
Since February 2012, IOCC has provided relief to more than 2.7 million people inside Syria affected by the crisis through programs that include:
- EMERGENCY AID — Distribution of dry food parcels, infant care kits, clothing, mattresses, blankets, and bedding.
- SHELTER — Rent assistance; repair/renovation of shelters for women and children – some of whom have been displaced several times as the conflict has escalated and expanded.
- HEALTH — Assisting families with unmet medical needs by covering their costs for essential medicine or minor surgical procedures; distributing family hygiene kits to help maintain health where crowded conditions and lack of water have led to a sharp rise in scabies and other public health problems.
- AID TO INFANTS & CHILDREN — Improve the survival rates for mothers and newborns through pre-natal and post-natal medical care; access to care at health facilities or deliveries with a skilled birth attendant; infant care and nutrition programs.
- EDUCATION — Enabling children to continue their education by providing school uniforms and supplies; tuition support; access to remedial classes; and rehabilitating schools to improve the learning environment.
- PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT — Helping displaced Syrians overcome their traumatic experiences through adult workshops on stress management and building self-esteem; art and music therapy to help traumatized children express their feelings.
- WATER, SANITATION, and HYGIENE (WASH) — Minimizing public health threats from Syria’s severely damaged infrastructure by repairing wells and water systems to provide access to safe water; renovating sanitation facilities; installing water storage tanks and water filters; conducting classes on good hygiene practices like handwashing and food handling.
- ECONOMIC RECOVERY/LIVELIHOODS — Through Cash for Work programs, IOCC is addressing loss of jobs and family income with jobs for displaced Syrians on community projects such as repairing schools and shelters, cleaning up public spaces, sewing uniforms for school children, and knitting winter clothes for infants.
How You Can Help
Your support can help even more families get the food, shelter and support they need to survive this crisis and others around the world. IOCC is urging the public to pray for our neighbors in need, and to assist by assembling personal hygiene kits and infant kits for distribution to displaced families. Instructions for preparing Emergency Kits may be found at: www.iocc.org/kits
You can also help the victims of poverty and conflicts around the world, like those in Syria, by making a financial gift to the 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 www.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.
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IOCC Syria Crisis Fact Sheet
Stories About The Syrian Crisis