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IOCC Provides Greece with Emergency
Supply to Feed 53,000 Head of Livestock
September 7, 2007

(The Peloponnese, Greece) — The plan to bring relief to the farmers of Greece is underway with International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) beginning its distribution of 170 metric tons of animal feed on Saturday. IOCC will provide farmers with an emergency supply of animal feed for small (sheep, goats, pigs) and large livestock (horses, bulls, cows) — a total of 53,000 head of livestock.

IOCC will begin by distributing 150 metric tons of animal feed to 54 villages in the Province of Ileia. IOCC will distribute the feed through five centers of the Province (Zaharo, Krestena, Andritsena, Alfira, Foloi). IOCC’s distribution will compliment the commodities being provided by the Greek government allowing for a greater variety of animal feed. An additional 20 metric tons of feed will be delivered directly to farmers in isolated mountain villages who are unable to reach the distribution centers. IOCC is coordinating this distribution with local Orthodox churches.

Nenad Prelevic, based in IOCC's Belgrade office, is in Greece overseeing the distribution. "Whatever farmers were saving for the winter they have to use now which is why IOCC is concentrating on providing animal feed, one of the greatest needs after the fires," said Prelevic.

IOCC Executive Director & CEO Constantine M. Triantafilou, in Greece over the past week to assess the damage and plan for IOCC’s long term recovery work, described the devastation. "The mountains in the distance look white as if dusted by snow but when the wind blows you realize it is all grey ash," he said. Triantafilou met with authorities and with villagers who lost livestock and homes. He assured them that Orthodox Christians in America will continue to respond to the crisis in Greece.

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.

To help in providing emergency relief, call IOCC's donation hotline toll-free at 1-877-803-4622, click here to donate on-line, or mail a check or money order payable to “IOCC” and write "Greece Fires" in the memo line to: IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, Md. 21297-0429.

Media Calls: Contact Amal Morcos at +1-410-243-9820 or (mobile) +1-443-823-3489.

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Fires Are Out But Greece Still Faces
Coming Ecological Disaster
IOCC Plans for Distribution of Livestock Feed and Long Term Relief
September 5, 2007

(Parnonas, Greece) — Members of IOCC’s Emergency Response Network in Greece to help with trauma counseling were called upon to assist Greek, French and Russian firefighters to protect the Monastery of Saint Anagyri from a fire on Parnonas Mountain in the Peloponnese. “The fires were advancing on the monastery from three directions,” said Father Angelo Pappas of Portsmouth, New Hampshire who reported seeing flames reaching 30-40 feet. “We boarded up windows while a Russian jet flew very low dropping water over the area. Fortunately, winds changed direction saving the monastery.”

Father Pappas and Fire Captain Vasillios Pamboukis, also from Portsmouth, are part of IOCC’s Emergency Response Network, a pan-Orthodox group of clergy and disaster professionals who are on-call to respond to emergencies. Father Pappas and Captain Pamboukes traveled throughout the Peloponnese and the island of Eboia counseling local villagers who are still suffering from shock over the devastation.

Many have lost their homes, crops, and livestock, and those who still have animals lack feed. IOCC purchased 308,000 pounds of corn and alfalfa to be distributed in cooperation with the local government through ten municipal centers throughout the province of Ileia. IOCC staff is also developing long term plans for livestock and agricultural recovery.

The fires have abated but Greece still faces an ecological disaster. “Without question, it is an ecological disaster,” said Father Pappas, “because once it rains, or the snows begin, the runoff of water from the mountains will bring with it all the fine dust, the ash and eroded soil right into the streams and rivers and villages.” The eroded soil will complicate agricultural recovery.

The Greek government reports that in the Province of Ileia, where IOCC has concentrated its disaster relief, nearly 9 million square meters of land has been destroyed including 3.5 million olive trees. Almost 100,000 people in the province have suffered some kind of loss due to the fires.

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.

To help in providing emergency relief, call IOCC's donation hotline toll-free at 1-877-803-4622, click here to donate on-line, or mail a check or money order payable to “IOCC” and write "Greece Fires" in the memo line to: IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, Md. 21297-0429.

Media Calls: Contact Amal Morcos at +1-410-243-9820 or (mobile) +1-443-823-3489.

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IOCC Staff Report From Greece
Trauma Experts and Humanitarian Aid to be Sent to the Peloponnese
August 30, 2007

(Ileias Province, Greece) — For Despina Katsivelaki, the devastation in her home country of Greece was far worse than she had imagined. “This is a terrible catastrophe,” said Katsivelaki, “I saw villages where there was nothing, nothing left, no homes, no olive groves, nothing.” Katsivelaki, Head of Office in Athens for the humanitarian aid organization International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC Greece), was conducting a needs assessment in the western province of Ileias in the Peloponnese.

“IOCC’s response to the crisis is a pan-Orthodox expression of hope to the victims,” says IOCC Executive Director and CEO Constantine M. Triantafilou. “The organization is addressing emergency needs, such as providing feed for livestock, with an eye towards Greece’s long-term need to rebuild its agricultural sector,” he continued. Officials estimate that 500,000 acres (an area the size of Rhode Island) of forests and olive groves have been destroyed since the onset of the fires on August 24.

IOCC is budgeting an initial $75,000 for immediate needs and is sending a team of Orthodox priests from its Emergency Response Program to conduct trauma counseling. The priests are experienced in trauma counseling and have worked on IOCC projects involving Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. IOCC is coordinating its work in Greece with local municipalities and the Orthodox Church.

According to Katsivelaki, who toured the communities of Zaharo, Andritsena, Olympia, Krestena and Pirgos, the most immediate need for villagers now that the fires are abating is how to manage the next day without water, electricity, and food to feed their livestock.

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.

To help in providing emergency relief, call IOCC's donation hotline toll-free at 1-877-803-4622, click here to donate on-line, or mail a check or money order payable to “IOCC” and write "Greece Fires" in the memo line to: IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, Md. 21297-0429.

Media Calls: Contact Amal Morcos at +1-410-243-9820 or (mobile) +1-443-823-3489.

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IOCC Mobilizes Response For Greece Fires

IOCC will provide emergency relief supplies and technical assistance to the thousands of villagers who have been displaced by the fires in Greece that have claimed more than 60 lives since last Friday.
August 27, 2007

Baltimore (IOCC) — In response to the fires raging in Greece, considered the worst the country has suffered in over 100 years, the U.S. based humanitarian aid organization International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has announced an immediate emergency response to provide relief supplies and technical assistance for the thousands of displaced villagers affected by this national tragedy.

“As we mourn the loss of life and sympathize with those who have had to flee their homes, we are mobilizing our emergency response through our IOCC Athens office and coordinating with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America,” said IOCC Executive Director & CEO Constantine M. Triantafilou.

“More than sixty people have lost their lives, others remain missing, and Greece’s emergency response capabilities are stretched to their limits,” said Despina Katsivelaki, IOCC Head of Office in Athens. “These fires have devastated large areas of Greece, from the island of Evia north of Athens to the Peloponnese in the south since Friday,” she continued. 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.

To help in providing emergency relief, call IOCC's donation hotline toll-free at 1-877-803-4622, click here to donate on-line, or mail a check or money order payable to “IOCC” and write "Greece Fires" in the memo line to: IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, Md. 21297-0429.

Media Calls: Contact Amal Morcos at +1-410-243-9820 or (mobile) +1-443-823-3489.

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