IOCC Mobilizes Aid for Asia Pacific Disasters

Residents push their makeshift rafts loaded with their belongings in the town of San Pedro, Laguna province south of Manila on September 30, 2009 as they scramble to leave their flooded houses in anticipation of another tropical storm. (photo credit: TED ALJIBE AFP/Getty Images)

Baltimore, MD (October 9, 2009) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is part of a coordinated international effort to bring relief to the thousands that have been displaced by Typhoon Ketsana in the Philippines and the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that devastated western Sumatra in Indonesia.

Typhoon Ketsana struck the Philippines on September 26 and the subsequent floods and mudslides killed hundreds and displaced thousands. IOCC is working through the Orthodox Church in the hard-hit province of Rizal to deliver emergency supplies to victims. “We cannot be blind to the difficulties of the victims, because we are right where the action is,” says Father Yitzhak Monsanto of the Manila Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church. IOCC is providing an initial grant that will deliver enough food, clothing and medicines to assist nearly 500 survivors.

In Indonesia, the earthquake that struck western Sumatra on September 30 caused major damage to the provincial capital of Padang and killed more than 700. Nearly 1 million are homeless and thousands are being treated for injuries.

IOCC is in contact with its Orthodox partners in Sumatra to coordinate a possible relief and recovery response. And, as a member of Action by Churches Together (ACT), IOCC is supporting its ecumenical partners who are currently on the ground in the Padang area providing mobile medical units, high protein food kits and hygiene supplies. As the scope of the disaster in Indonesia becomes more clear, IOCC will continue to coordinate its response with these members to determine the best course of action, likely to include the direct delivery of medical supplies into Padang.

“Those who have survived the devastation throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands now need life-saving medicine, food and water, but because of the sanitary conditions – and with many survivors sleeping in the open – time is critical,” says IOCC Development Director Dan Christopulos.

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