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Church

IOCC’s Partnership with UMCOR Provides Ukrainians More Access to Services

BALTIMORE, MD – Working together to increase assistance to the people of Ukraine, both in and out of the country, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has been awarded $2.5 million in grants from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). The effort by the two nonprofits, which specialize in assisting individuals impacted by disaster, will be used to increase access to shelters, fund home repairs, offer psychosocial programming, and provide anti-trafficking training and refugee integration services.

Within the borders of Ukraine, support will be directed to individuals in the Kyiv, Dnipropetrovska, Chernivetska, and Ivano-Frankivska regions. UMCOR funds will be deployed by IOCC for a variety of purposes, including:

• Ensuring 70,000 internally displaced persons traveling through Dnipro City have access to adequate emergency food aid and non-food items during the next year.
• Offering more than 2,000 individuals access to appropriate psychosocial programming as partners coordinate with Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) working group to identify beneficiaries.
• Providing access to temporary/transitional shelters for vulnerable, disaster-affected people in the Chernivetska and Ivano-Frankivska regions during the next 12 months.
• Helping people deal with the harsh winter by performing light and medium apartment repairs on the homes of vulnerable families. The insulation and winterization project will focus on groups with specific vulnerabilities such as older persons, particularly those who are single, people with disabilities and the impoverished.
• Repairing livestock shelters, especially those damaged by the conflict, to ensure economic livelihoods and facilitate rapid recovery after the winter.

Outside of Ukraine, the agencies’ effort will seek to assist refugees in Romania and the more than 1.2 million who have chosen to remain in Poland. In Romania, the goal is to provide essential humanitarian aid through supermarket food vouchers and anti-trafficking training and refugee integration services. In Poland, it will provide six months of cash assistance to 150 Ukrainian refugee families and 30 Polish host families. It will also provide 900 refugees with 75 hours of Polish language instruction.

“Ecumenical partnerships like IOCC and UMCOR’s are an effective and powerful way to help people in a disaster,” said IOCC’s Executive Director and CEO Constantine Triantafilou. “Combining resources, networks, and expertise multiplies our impact so that together we are reaching more people with the practical help they need during this time of upheaval. IOCC is grateful to have partnered with UMCOR for almost 30 years, sharing a commitment to serving others.”

“The conflict, which has brought systematic attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure, has left millions without electricity, water, heat, food and adequate long-term shelter, among other necessities of life during the harsh winter months,” said Roland Fernandes, general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, which includes the UMCOR. “This latest ministry with IOCC addresses pressing needs for winterization and additional serves as an important example of the practical power of ecumenical partnership as we come together to alleviate the suffering of both internally displaced persons and refugees. The ongoing attacks underscore the importance of this project that provides an opportunity to expand UMCOR’s response in Ukraine and also address pressing needs for early recovery and winterization.”
IOCC and UMCOR’s partnership in international disaster response is well established. Their most recent collaboration was a successful program in Jordan to offset housing costs for vulnerable families in Amman used a cash-for-rent program.

More information is available online: https://iocc.org/.

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