IOCC Assists Families Displaced by South Asia Earthquake

A pile of rubble is all that remains of this man’s family home. Thousands of families across Pakistan face homelessness after a 7.5 earthquake rocked the country on Monday, claiming at least 230 lives and destroying thousands of houses. IOCC is responding with an emergency distribution of food and tents for families displaced by the disaster. photo: ACT Alliance

Baltimore, MD (October 29, 2015) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is responding to the urgent needs of survivors from a deadly 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of India on Monday. Pakistan suffered the worst casualties, with at least 230 people dead and more than 1,600 injured.

IOCC, working in cooperation with the Orthodox Church in Pakistan, is providing support for the distribution of food and tents to 300 families displaced by the disaster. Thousands of families remain homeless after their houses were destroyed or became too unstable to live in. “So many people are out of their houses, so much destruction,” said Father John Tanveer, pastor of the Greek Orthodox Church in Lahore, Pakistan. “Hospitals are full with casualties and injured. Please, pray, and help our country.”

The quake comes just three months after heavy monsoon rains unleashed a torrent of water that swept away thousands of villages across Punjab’s agricultural heartlands. More than 1.7 million acres of crops were destroyed, leaving thousands of families in Pakistan without homes, a source of food or farm income. IOCC responded with emergency food parcels for flood victims from the hard hit Punjab province, home to more than half of Pakistan’s people.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Emergency hygiene kits continue to be in great demand. Kit assembly instructions can be found on IOCC’s website at iocc.org/kits

You can also help the victims of disasters around the world, like the earthquake in Pakistan, by making a financial gift to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund, which will provide immediate and long-term relief through emergency aid, recovery assistance, and other support to help those in need. To make a gift, please visit 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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IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has delivered $534 million in emergency relief and development assistance to families and communities in more than 50 countries. IOCC is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 140 churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy, and InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.–based secular and faith-based organizations working to improve the lives of the world’s most poor and vulnerable populations.

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