Assistance to Refugees

Thanks to your ongoing support since 1992, IOCC has offered emergency assistance and longer-term aid, as well as hope and opportunity, to millions of refugees fleeing violence and uncertainty across the globe.

Offering Hope and Opportunity to Millions

Thanks to your ongoing support since 1992, IOCC has offered emergency assistance and longer-term aid, as well as hope and opportunity, to millions of refugees fleeing violence and uncertainty across the globe.

1992 | Former Yugoslavia

IOCC Opens its Belgrade office in 1992 at the invitation of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Through the early 2000s, IOCC responds to humanitarian crises that followed the former Yugoslavia’s dissolution.

1994 | Russian Caucasus

IOCC expands its relief efforts to refugees in the Russian Caucasus and Georgia. “We’re trying to build a future out of this chaos,” an IOCC staffer to the Baltimore Sun in 1995. “We’re bridging this gap between refugees and development.”

2003 | Syria

IOCC begins assisting Iraqi refugees in Syria, providing hygiene and school kits, as well as vocational and business training. Over time, IOCC will help over 7,500 Iraqis who fled conflict in their country.

2008 | Georgia

IOCC partners with the Georgian Orthodox Church and the UN World Food Program after conflict in Georgia displaces tens of thousands from their villages. IOCC provides emergency supplies to those affected, including monthly staple food for 30,000 individuals, and animal feed and seed to nearly 10,000 farming families.

2011 | Ethiopia

IOCC, in cooperation with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter-church Aid Commission, constructs the first high school in Bokolomanyo, Ethiopia, for Somali refugee teens escaping famine. The new school includes four classrooms, administrative space, and staff living quarters, serving nearly 500 young Somali refugees whose education was disrupted by conflict.

2012 | Syria

IOCC begins responding to the crisis caused by conflict in Syria, working closely with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development (GOPA-DERD). IOCC leverages experience helping Iraqi refugees in Syria to assist internally displaced Syrians.

2014 | Jordan, Ethiopia

IOCC distributes warm clothing, blankets, food parcels, hygiene kits, mattresses, insulating rugs, and school kits to Syrian refugee families living in Amman and the Jordanian governorates of Irbid, Mafraq, Ajloun, Jerash, and Madaba. It also delivers wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility tools to assist people living with disabilities.

IOCC joins ACT Alliance partners to help Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, providing shelter, water, latrines, and hygiene education to people living in camps, as well as supplementary food for 50,000 children under age five.

2015 | Greece

IOCC and Apostoli (the humanitarian arm of the Archdiocese of Athens) provide over 1,000 hot meals and water daily to refugees on the Greek islands of Chios and Samos. In Athens and on Samos, Chios, and Kos, IOCC assists over 13,000 refugees, supplying hygiene and infant kits, sleeping bags, and clothes. On Samos, IOCC reconstructs the refugee reception center, installing a water tank and repairing boilers, sinks, showers, and plumbing.

2016 | Lebanon

With support from UNICEF, IOCC repairs Riyak Public School in the Bekaa Valley, a school designated by Lebanon’s Ministry of Education to serve Syrian refugee students. IOCC improves water, electrical, and sewage facilities, and adds a third floor to increase classroom space. Because of this project, over 860 additional students gain access to education.

2017 | Jordan

IOCC, working in partnership with UNHCR and the International Medical Corps, as well as the Jordanian Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate, establishes diagnosis and treatment services inside the Azraq camp to serve refugees with hearing and visual disabilities. Medical specialists diagnose each case, and IOCC provides the needed devices (i.e. hearing aids or eyeglasses), along with support for their effective use and care.


IOCC continues its multifaceted response to the Syrian refugee crisis with work in Jordan, Lebanon, Greece, Syria, and Romania, as well as work with Church partner GOPA-DERD to help those internally displaced within Syria. Since 2012, IOCC has assisted millions of Syrians through emergency relief and shelter, water, healthcare, education, nutrition, and psychosocial support.

Your generosity helps provide food, shelter, and medical care for refugee families who need your help today.