Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Private donations needed after refugee camp blaze

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 15:24 Mizzima News

The Border Consortium (TBC), an umbrella group of NGOs which supplies humanitarian relief to some 140,000 refugees at the Thai-Myanmar border, has launched an emergency appeal to collect 13 million Thai baht (US $433,000) which it says it needs to replace essential food, homes and community buildings destroyed at Mae Surin refugee camp in a devastating fire on Friday.

Volunteers and refugees help the rebuilding effort in Umpiem Mai camp which was devastated by a fire in February 2012. (PHOTO: TBC)

“TBC is deeply saddened to confirm that 36 people [number has since increased] have tragically died in a fire that broke out in Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, in Mae Hong Son Province, on Friday 22nd March,” the organization said in a statement. “The fire swept through two sections of the camp destroying everything in its path, apparently caused by a cooking accident. The victims reportedly included children, elderly and the disabled who were trapped by the fire, while an additional 200 people sustained injuries from the blaze. Over 400 houses were destroyed leaving 2,300 people homeless, while community buildings, schools, [a] clinic and food warehouses were also razed to the ground.”

TBC confirmed that it is coordinating its response with the Thai government, UNHCR and other NGOs. It said that an immediate concern is to give fund appropriate religious rites for the victims of the tragedy.

Temporary shelters have been set up for those displaced by the blaze. TBC said that it is working closely with camp committees to establish food kitchens and to prepare emergency food supplies for affected families staying in temporary sites or with relatives.      
Other expense are estimated to include:    

  • Food and Charcoal: 960,000 baht

(Rice, cooking oil, yellow split peas and charcoal that were in storage in the destroyed warehouses in Section 2 and 4 will need to be replaced. Ten days of emergency rations have also been distributed to all households. Communal cooking facilities will continue to be run by the camp committees.)

  • Construction materials: 11,640,000 baht

(420 houses, 2 food warehouses, 2 charcoal warehouses, and also community facilities need to be completely rebuilt.)

  • Emergency items: 400,000 baht

(Blankets, plastic sheeting, rope, cost associated with funeral arrangements, stoves and cooking pots will be provided.)

Mizzima encourages its staff, its readers and all affiliates to help. Various methods of payment are catered for via the TBC website:
For more background:

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