Tuesday, December 30, 2008
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 - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 30, 2008
IOCC and Pancretan Association Help Peloponnese Farmers Recover Their Productivity
(Baltimore, MD) The Pancretan Association of America has awarded $75,000 to International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) as part of a new program to help Peloponnese farmers more effectively plan for the planting and cultivation of crops. The Peloponnese, which is still suffering the long term effects of last year's monumental wildfires, has been receiving continuous aid from IOCC in the form of 3,100 tons of animal feed and 60 tons of forage seed to struggling farmers.
The grant from the Pancretan Association, together with support from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, will allow IOCC to build a soil laboratory in the Peloponnese, which will help farmers analyze the condition of their soil and water in order to determine what crops to cultivate and what kinds of fertilizers to use. "We are proud to assist our Greek brothers in the Peloponnese to recover their agricultural sector, which is so crucial to Greece's overall economic health," said Emmanuel E. Velivasakis, national president of the Pancretan Association of America.
Previously, farmers willing and able to test their soil had to send samples to Athens and wait an average of three weeks for the results. Farmers often think of testing their soil very close to the agricultural season and the three week waiting period is impractical. The availability of a soil lab in the Prefecture would return results within a matter of days and encourage more farmers to test their soil, something that environmentalists and agronomists agree will help the Peloponnese to recover economically and environmentally.
The 2007 fires were Greece's worst wildfires in a century and killed 61 people and over 25,000 cattle and sheep. More than 500,000 acres of land were damaged and destroyed, amounting to about 5% of Greece's territory. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and other private donors, have provided nearly $4 million in relief and development programs implemented by IOCC for the Peloponnese.
Help us speed relief to families in the Peloponnese that are still feeling the effects of the 2007 wildfires. Visit www.iocc.org, call IOCC toll free at 1-877-803-4622, 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.
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 $275 million in relief and development programs in 33 countries around the world.
Media: Contact Amal Morcos at 410-243-9820 or (cell) 443-823-3489.