August 12, 2010 Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Experiencing the worst heat wave in Russia since record-keeping began more than 130 years ago, the Russian people have been suffering from uninterrupted high temperatures for the past 50 days and deteriorating air quality as a result of more than 500 active fires burning nationwide. News agencies have reported that more than 50 people have died so far from the fires and an estimated 5,000 others have died as a result of the heat and poor air quality in Western Russia.
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), in consultation with the Orthodox Church in America, is working with its partners in the Russian Orthodox Church to formulate an appropriate IOCC response to this latest humanitarian crisis.
Constantine M. Triantafilou, IOCC Executive Director, expressed his concern at the situation, stating, "We pray for those who have died. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those mourning the loss of loved ones. We are also steadfast in our prayers for all who have been affected by the wildfires."
In addition to the immediate concern for the loss of life, it is estimated that approximately one third of Russia's wheat crop has burned. One of the world's largest exporters of wheat, Russia has suspended its wheat exports.
You can help the victims of disasters around the world, like the Russian Heat Wave and Wildfires, by making a financial gift to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund , which will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift, please visit www.iocc.org , call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable 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 $330 million in relief and development programs in 33 countries around the world. IOCC has been providing emergency relief to Russia since the organization's first airlift in 1992. Since that time, IOCC has implemented more than $60 million in aid projects throughout the Russian Federation.
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