Transforming Lives with Clean and Safe Water

Baltimore, MD (March 21, 2014) — Access to clean and safe water can make the difference between sickness and health, poverty and self-sufficiency. Yet more than one billion people living in impoverished urban and rural areas struggle to survive each day without access to safe drinking water or adequate sanitation.

As the demand for safe, fresh water continues to increase around the world, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is responding with efforts to improve access to clean and safe water and sanitation for those in need.


Nearly half of the people living in Cameroon’s rural areas don’t have access to clean and safe water. Water must be carried for many miles and often comes from unsanitary sources shared by wild animals. IOCC is making clean water available to 9,000 schoolchildren and teachers living in northwestern Cameroon through rainwater harvesting systems installed on three of the area’s largest schools. IOCC also provided hygiene kits to 11,000 schoolchildren in the region in an effort to support better hygiene habits. Photo by Nenad Prelevic/IOCC


Since Syria’s conflict began in 2011, displaced families have fled to safer, rural areas in the Tartous region of Syria. The population of these villages has more than doubled and increased the demand for water and other basic amenities. With the generous support of ACT Alliance partner, Norwegian Church Aid, IOCC and church partner in Syria, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East (GOPA), are addressing the critical water shortage in the villages by drilling wells that will greatly increase the water supply desperately needed by displaced Syrians and the host families. The distribution of water tanks will also provide families with backup water stores. Photo by IOCC/GOPA


Kosovo is mainly a rural area with about two-thirds of the population living in remote villages. Most are small-scale farmers trying to eke out a living with limited farm equipment and an often unreliable water supply. Working with the Serbian Orthodox Church Diocese of Raška and Prizren, and Visoki Decani Monastery, IOCC is responding with the digging of new wells to improve access to clean water for families living in remote rural areas in Kosovo. Photo by Visoki Decani Monastery


You can help the victims of poverty and conflicts around the world by making a financial gift to the 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 or 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.


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 $438 million in relief and development programs to families and communities in more than 50 countries. IOCC is a member of the ACT Alliance, and of 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.