International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) supports one of the largest established networks to deliver life-saving humanitarian aid inside Syria where more than 9.3 million people are currently in need of assistance, 6.5 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 2.7 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 25 offices 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 Patriarch of Antioch and All the East.
Since February 2012, IOCC has provided relief to nearly 1.5 million people inside Syria affected by the crisis through programs that include:
EMERGENCY AID — Displaced families inside Syria who have lost everything and are now living in shelters or makeshift housing are receiving critically needed dry food parcels and essential items like infant care supplies, clothing, mattresses, blankets, and bedding.
HEALTH — Syria’s civil war has severely weakened the country’s healthcare system, making it more difficult for thousands of displaced Syrians to afford medical treatment needed to survive. IOCC is providing assistance to Syrian people with medical needs by covering their costs for essential medicine, medical supplies or minor surgical procedures. IOCC is also providing family 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 diseases.
SHELTER — The destruction of Syrian homes during battles has made living quarters extremely scarce and costly, with an average of ten people living under the same roof. IOCC is providing rent assistance to displaced families, as well as repairing and renovating buildings to provide safe shelter for women and children – 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 working to help minimize a public health threat from Syria’s severely damaged infrastructure by 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. IOCC is working with local community leaders to provide jobs to displaced Syrians on community projects such as repairing schools and shelters, cleaning up public spaces, and sewing uniforms for school children. The employment opportunities allow people to earn an income and, where possible, begin the process of recovering.
PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT — IOCC is leading efforts to assist displaced Syrians of all ages overcome their traumatic experiences and begin rebuilding their lives. Adults participate in group workshops designed to improve stress management skills and self-esteem, while IOCC trauma counselors use face painting, singing and performing activities to help displaced Syrian children express their feelings through art and play.
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: 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.
Stories About The Syrian Crisis
2014 | 2013 | 2012
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Syrian Families From Historic Christian Town Seek Relief And Refuge From Fighting
Call for Help in Syria Grows More Urgent
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Frightened And Fatigued After Grueling Journey, Displaced Syrians In As-Suwayda, Syria Receive IOCC Aid
IOCC Reaches Syrian Families Unable To Flee To Safety
Jordanian Families Strain Under Weight Of Syrian Refugee Crisis
Alone In A Foreign Land, Syrian Refugees Face New Fears And Sacrifices
IOCC Relief Expands Reach To Syrian Refugees In Iraq
Samer Laham of The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All The East Named 2013 InterAction Humanitarian of The Year
Orthodox Bishops Abducted Near Aleppo In Northern Syria
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IOCC Expands Relief Efforts in Syria
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IOCC To Help Ease Plight Of Displaced Syrian Families
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