International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) supports one of the largest established networks to deliver life-saving humanitarian aid inside Syria where more than 7 million people are currently in need of assistance. In addition to its work inside Syria, IOCC staff is working regionally to address the growing needs of more than 1.8 million refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Armenia 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 in 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 Patriarch of Antioch and All the East.
Since February 2012, IOCC has provided relief to more than 840,000 people affected by the crisis through programs that include:
- EMERGENCY AID — Displaced families inside Syria as well as Syrians refugees who have lost everything and are now living in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq are receiving critical food aid and essentials like infant care supplies, personal hygiene supplies, clothing, blankets, mattresses, and essential medicines and medical supplies.
- HEALTH AND NUTRITION — Working with health and community workers, IOCC is working to protect infants and pregnant and lactating women affected by the Syrian crisis by promoting proper infant and young child feeding and healthy maternal nutrition. IOCC is also providing vital support to enable Syrians struggling to find functioning health facilities to receive emergency surgeries and is providing personal hygiene kits to displaced Syrians to maintain their health where crowded conditions and a lack of water for personal hygiene have resulted in a sharp increase in scabies and other public health maladies.
- SHELTER — IOCC is repairing and renovating buildings to provide safe shelter for families in Syria – some who have been displaced several times as the conflict has escalated and expanded.
- EDUCATION — While war has robbed children of their innocence, IOCC is enabling them to continue to learn by providing access to remedial classes, uniforms required for refugees to attend public schools, repairing and expanding schools to improve the learning environment.
- WATER, SANITATION, and HYGIENE (WASH) — IOCC is repairing wells and water systems to provide safe access to water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene. IOCC is also renovating sanitation facilities, installing water filters to remove diarrhea-causing bacteria, and conducting hygiene awareness education.
- ECONOMIC RECOVERY — In some of the hardest hit areas in Syria normal economic activity has stopped and the loss of jobs is contributing to displacement for families left with no income. Working with communities to identify improvement projects such as garbage collection and rubble clean-up, IOCC is providing employment opportunities that allow people to earn an income and, where possible, begin the process of recovering.
- PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT — IOCC is leading workshops to assist Syrians of all ages who have experienced trauma, or are suffering from depression or anxiety to manage stress and cope with loss through workshops that use puppet-making, drawing and drama.
- AID TO INFANTS & CHILDREN — IOCC is providing pre-natal and post-natal care for infants and infant nutrition programs, IOCC is providing life-saving assistance for expecting mothers to access care at health facilities or deliveries with a skilled birth attendant – key health interventions for reducing maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality.
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: https://iocc.org/take-action/assemble-emergency-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.