At noon on February 23, a fire in a single home in Umphiem Refugee Camp erupted and began to spread to surrounding homes. Because permanent structures are not allowed to be built within the camps, all houses are constructed from bamboo, wood and leaves, making it extremely susceptible to fire, especially in the dry season. Within ten minutes, dozens of homes were on fire and in less than an hour, the fire had engulfed one third of the camp, turning houses, mosques, nurseries and schools to ashes. Umphiem is Thailand’s second largest refugee camp and is home to approximately 20,000 refugees from Burma.
Currently organizations on the Thai-Burma border are meeting to discuss immediate needs and how donations can best be utilized. We hope to begin collecting donations immediately so that funds will be available as soon as the needs are assessed. Donations will directly benefit the individuals who have been affected – purchasing building materials, food, water, clothes & blankets and other necessary materials.
We are requesting that donations be made as soon as possible to the Thai-Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) in order to meet the immediate need. www.tbbc.org
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