IOCC Team Travels to Haiti to Coordinate Aid, Assist Partners

Baltimore, MD (February 15, 2010) — IOCC Senior Programs Coordinator Mark Ohanian and Fr. Antonio Perdomo, a trained emergency responder and pastor of St. George the Great Martyr Church in Pharr, Texas, arrived in Haiti this weekend to consult with Orthodox Christian communities and ecumenical partners about the on-going assistance and further assess the short and long term needs of the survivors of the January 12 earthquake. The team left Baltimore on Saturday, February 13 and expects to remain in Haiti for at least one week.

The IOCC team will work in support of the efforts of Orthodox partners in Haiti, where there are an estimated 3,000 Orthodox Christians. IOCC is currently providing food and hygiene items to 350 Orthodox faithful in six parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) in Haiti with the support of a $10,000 grant from the ROCOR “Fund for Assistance.”

Ohanian, the team leader who managed recovery and reconstruction projects for IOCC in Bosnia-Herzegovina, is a disaster response veteran who grew up in Lebanon during the war and speaks French. Born in the Dominican Republic, Fr. Perdomo is a native Spanish speaker who is a member of IOCC’s Frontline, a volunteer network of highly trained, credentialed and experienced emergency response personnel.

Nearly $1.7 million in assistance has been provided by IOCC in the month since the temblor ravaged much of Haiti’s capital and the surrounding areas. Medicines, medical equipment, water purification and sanitation equipment, tents, hygiene kits, shelter materials, fuel, food, blankets, jerry cans for water and mattresses have been shipped and distributed throughout Haiti in cooperation with ACT Alliance members, Orthodox Christian and other partners.

IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.

You can help the victims of disasters around the world, like the Haiti Earthquake, 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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