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IOCC's Network Proves Effective for Lebanon Crisis

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  • Rev Fr John Brian
    INTERNATIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES (IOCC) 110 West Road, Suite 360, Baltimore, Md. 21204 Tel: (410) 243-9820 - Fax: (410) 243-9824 Web: www.iocc.org -
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 7, 2006
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      110 West Road, Suite 360, Baltimore, Md. 21204
      Tel: (410) 243-9820 - Fax: (410) 243-9824
      Web: www.iocc.org - E-mail: news@...

      For immediate release

      August 4, 2006

      Beirut Staff Convert Development Program Resources Into Emergency Aid for
      Hundreds of Displaced Families

      Baltimore (IOCC) - Day 23 of the invasion of Lebanon finds one-fourth of the
      country's population displaced from their homes of which an estimated
      128,000 have taken shelter in public schools and institutions. IOCC is
      continuing its relief efforts to displaced families, delivering food and
      hygiene parcels to 892 families in the Maten and Alley areas, and reaching
      the more dangerous regions of the Chouf during the 48-hour lull in fighting.

      Many of these displaced families are staying in the public schools where
      IOCC has been repairing infrastructure and conducting an education/feeding
      program since 2001. On average there are 30-40 families per school, with
      each family staying in a classroom. Staff is coordinating efforts with the
      United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the U.S.
      Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, the Middle East Council of Churches,
      and with the Orthodox Church in each village or area that IOCC distribution
      of supplies is taking place.

      "IOCC may not be one of the larger aid organizations on the ground in
      Lebanon," says Interim Director of Operations Matthew Parry, "but it is
      certainly one of the best positioned." Literally overnight, Beirut staff
      converted the IOCC development program into an emergency relief effort using
      trucks that normally distributed public school meals to reach distressed
      families. Staff was also able to use their network of food suppliers to
      procure food and hygiene items, a task that was very difficult in view of
      the security situation.

      IOCC began its relief efforts in the Maten and Alley areas of Mount Lebanon,
      providing one food and one hygiene parcel per family. Church World Service
      has also pledged 5,000 hygiene kits, 500 collapsible water containers and
      hundreds of wool blankets. Each parcel contains supplies that last for one
      month. Food parcels contain milk powder, vegetable oil, canned fish, hummus,
      beans, pasta, rice, corn, jam, tea and sugar. Hygiene parcels contain
      toothbrushes, tooth paste, soap, tissue paper, toilet paper, shampoo,
      antiseptic cleaner, laundry soap and sanitary pads.

      "I think IOCC is distinctive in its approach because in addition to
      providing basic food and hygiene supplies, we are also providing educational
      materials about ways to relieve stress and the importance of food and
      personal hygiene," says IOCC Beirut Program Coordinator Linda Shaker
      Berbari. "This will help families cope better with their environment and
      prevent problems that might arise due to poor hygienic practices."

      IOCC has been active in the Middle East since 1997, when it first
      implemented humanitarian programs in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. With funding
      from the Greek Government, IOCC is currently implementing an emergency
      response program in Gaza and recently completed a civil society program for
      rural Palestinians. IOCC also has various relief and development activities
      in Iraq and Jordan and has undertaken programs in Lebanon since 2001.
      Current programs in Lebanon include a USDA-funded Food for Education

      To help in providing emergency relief, call IOCC's donation hotline
      toll-free at
      1-877-803-4622, make a gift on-line at www.iocc.org, or mail a check or
      money order payable to "IOCC" and write "Lebanon Crisis 2006" in the memo
      line to: IOCC, P.O. Box 630225, Baltimore, Md. 21263-0225.

      Media calls: Contact Amal Morcos at 410-243-9820 or (cell) 404-805-4142.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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