Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — In response to widespread catastrophic flooding centered in the Australian state of Queensland over the past two months, His Grace Bishop Irinej (Dobrijević) of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia and New Zealand has designated one of his parishes as a recovery center to provide direct assistance to families affected by the natural disaster.
The center, to be located at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Wacol, Australia and staffed primarily by volunteers, is being established with the assistance of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). The center will distribute cleaning kits and repair kits to flood victims and a mobile team will assist in cleaning and restoring homes. The team will be organized by the Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia to assist the elderly and single parent households.
"We mourn the loss of life and tremendous suffering faced by so many Australians as a result of the historic tsunami-like flooding and extend our support to aid in the recovery efforts," said His Grace.
Record flash floods have affected more than two million people across Australia and damaged or destroyed more than 30,000 homes as well as livestock and crops. Three-quarters of the state of Queensland has been declared a disaster zone. Flood affected communities in Brisbane and surrounding communities within a 60 miles radius will be served through the center which is scheduled to remain open through October 2011.
Although a massive emergency response program has been launched by the Government of Australia, the Serbian Orthodox Church aims to provide complimentary assistance that will enable people in the affected areas to begin working on clearing flooded homes.
IOCC, founded in 1992 as the official humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), has implemented programs in more than 35 countries around the world.
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You can help the victims of disasters around the world, like those in Australia, by making a financial gift to the IOCC 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, 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. 21297-0429.
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