September 18, 2007
(Peloponnese, Greece) International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) announces an expansion of its ongoing work to provide relief to Peloponnese farmers whose homes and grazing lands were devastated by the August wildfires. Through donations received from supporters and a recent gift from IOCC Founder John G. Rangos a total of $200,000 will go towards the procurement and distribution of 250 metric tons of animal feed. Approximately 800 small and subsistence farmers in the provinces of Ileia and Arcadia will receive multiple distributions of the feed.
IOCC’s aid to farmers began in Ileia on September 8 with the delivery of 170 metric tons of animal feed for farmers with small animals (goats, sheep) and large livestock (donkeys, horses, cattle). Of this amount, 28 metric tons of feed were delivered directly to farmers in isolated mountain villages who were unable to reach distribution centers. IOCC staff found these small and subsistence farmers with the help of local Orthodox priests.
The wildfires killed 65 people and destroyed nearly 500,000 acres in forest lands and 4.6 million olive trees. IOCC has focused on providing animal feed because the fires also decimated pastures and grazing land and current assessments indicate this will be a long term problem for farmers.
“It is impossible to overstate the damage to Greece or its need for a long term commitment of help,” said Rangos. “As the Orthodox in America rose to the occasion during the crisis in the Soviet Union and civil war in the Balkans let us now unite our efforts through IOCC to respond to our brothers and sisters 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, make a gift on-line at www.iocc.org, 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 Ms. Amal Morcos
at 410-243-9820 or (cell) 443-823-3489.
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