Baltimore, MD, June 23, 2015
Torrential rains that fell on the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi on June 13 caused flash flooding along the Mtkvari River, resulting in the loss of life, extensive damage to homes, property and infrastructure in a matter of just a few hours. According to IOCC staff based in Tbilisi, current reports indicate that more than 450 people were injured, including 119 children, 19 lives were lost and three people are still missing. Damage to property and infrastructure is estimated at more than $40 million.
IOCC is providing immediate assistance to families affected by the flooding, including food, essential non-food items, and other assistance. IOCC staff are coordinating the response in cooperation with the Patriarchate of the Georgian Orthodox Church as well as with local and international humanitarian partners in the country.
"IOCC staff in Tbilisi have been responding to the urgent humanitarian needs in the flood zone this past week," said Mark Gruin, IOCC Director of Strategic Initiatives. "We pray for those who lost their lives and for the families who have been affected by this disaster."
The Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate is also providing direct assistance to the approximately 200 families that have been displaced by the flooding through Orthodox parishes in the affected areas. IOCC, an ACT Alliance member, began its operations in Georgia in 1994 at the invitation of ILIA II, Patriarch-Catholicos of Georgia. Today, IOCC programs in the country focus on providing longer term development opportunities for farming families and small businesses.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help the victims of disasters around the world, like the flooding in Georgia, by making a financial gift to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund which will provide immediate and long-term relief through emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift, please visit iocc.org, call 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, Md. 21297-0429.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES
IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has delivered $538 million in emergency relief and development assistance to families and communities in more than 50 countries. IOCC is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 140 churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy, and InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S–based secular and faith-based organizations working to improve the lives of the world's most poor and vulnerable populations. To learn more about IOCC, visit iocc.org.
Media contact: Rada K. Tierney, IOCC Media Relations, 443-823-3489, email@example.com