April 14, 2008
Tirana, Albania International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) will provide aid to victims of the Albania munitions explosions that occurred on March 15 in the town of Gerdec near the capital city of Tirana. The explosions killed 17 people and wounded 300 others. More than 3,500 people were forced to evacuate their homes as the massive explosions continued into the next day.
“Displaced villagers will not be able to return to their homes for at least six months and will need long term support,” said IOCC Regional Director Mark Ohanian who is coordinating the response in Albania.
IOCC will provide $10,000 of support including basic hygiene supplies and clothing for families who were displaced by the explosions. Psychological support and recreational activities will also be provided to children and young people.
Three villages neighboring Gerdec were devastated with officials reporting that at least 315 buildings, including homes, were totally destroyed and nearly 1,700 others were damaged.
Diakonia Agapes, the humanitarian organization of the Orthodox Church of Albania and IOCC’s partner in the country, will implement the project.
To help in providing emergency relief, call IOCC’s donation hotline toll-free at 1-877-803-4622, make a gift on-line at www.iocc.org, or mail a check or money order payable to “IOCC” and write “Albania Emergency” in the memo line to: IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, Md. 21297-0429.
IOCC, founded in 1992 as the official humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), has implemented over $250 million in relief and development programs in 33 countries around the world.
Media contact: Rada K. Tierney, IOCC Media Relations, 443-823-3489, firstname.lastname@example.org
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