Monday, February 11, 2008
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Awards $1.6 Million Grant
for IOCC's Greece Recovery Work
Aris returned to his village of Goumero in the Peloponnese to run a farm after living in Athens for 10 years. Then last summer's wildfires killed most of his sheep and destroyed some of his property. IOCC's emergency supplies of animal feed, and seed to help replant his pasturelands is giving him hope that he will be able to keep his farm. A new $1.6 million grant by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to IOCC will extend this kind of help to 2,000 additional farmers in the hard-hit areas of Ileia and Arcadia. (photo credit: IOCC Baltimore)
February 8, 2008
Baltimore, Maryland - The special committee overseeing the Greek Fire Relief Fund of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America unanimously approved a $1,652,998 grant to International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to further its current relief and recovery work for Greek farmers who lost livestock and pasturelands to last summer's wildfires. Since September 8, IOCC has been on the ground in the Peloponnese distributing a total of 704 metric tons of animal feed and 20 metric tons of forage seed, benefitting thousands of farmers.
The new grant from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese will allow IOCC to expand its work to 2,000 additional farmers in the provinces of Ileia and Arcadia, two of the hardest-hit areas. "The fires may be a distant memory to some but their effects are acutely felt every day by our Peloponnese brothers and sisters who must find a way to feed their animals and replant their damaged pasturelands," said His Eminence, DEMETRIOS, Archbishop and Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. "Our assistance gives farmers a twofold answer: emergency supplies of feed to sustain their livestock through the winter, and seed to replant their lands for a long term solution," he continued.
This latest grant is the second that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has awarded to IOCC for its relief and recovery work in Greece. The first grant, $252,853 awarded in November, made possible the feeding of 130,000 head of livestock. "IOCC's relief and recovery work has successfully helped farmers to maintain their livelihood so that they can remain in the region," said Constantine M. Triantafilou, Executive Director and CEO of IOCC. "This new grant makes it possible for more families to sustain their farms."
The decision to focus on animal feed came after IOCC consulted with local farmers, government and church officials in the affected areas of the Peloponnese. The wildfires, which killed 65 people, also destroyed nearly 500,000 acres of forest and grazing lands. Current assessments indicate that providing feed for livestock will be a long term problem for farmers.
IOCC, founded in 1992 as the official humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), has implemented over $250 million in relief and development programs in 33 countries around the world.
To help in providing emergency relief, call IOCC's donation hotline toll-free at 1-877-803-4622, make a gift on-line at http://www.iocc.org/giving/giving_donatemain.aspx_, or mail a check or money order payable to "IOCC" and write "Greece Wildfires" in the memo line to: IOCC, P.O. Box 630225, Baltimore, Md. 21263-0225.
Media calls: Contact Ms. Amal Morcos at 410-243-9820 or (cell) 443-823-3489.