Thai-Burma Border Refugee Camp Fire

April 4, 2013

Appeal# 700-F
Appeal Goal: $40,000


Thirty-six people died in a fire that broke out March 22 in the Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand.

The fire swept through two sections of the camp destroying nearly everything; the fire was caused by a cooking accident.

The victims reportedly included children, elderly and the disabled, who were trapped by the fire. An additional 200 people sustained injuries from the blaze. More than 400 houses were destroyed, leaving 2,300 people homeless, while community buildings, schools, clinic and food warehouses were also razed to the ground.

The Royal Thai Government is leading a coordinated response to the disaster with the UN and non-governmental organizations like CWS providing much needed assistance.

CWS Response

CWS is responding through The Border Consortium, a group of non-governmental organizations working along the Thai-Burma border. As part of the CWS-supported response, the affected community is being provided basic food and shelter needs, including for the formation of community kitchens.

Other responses include: temporary shelter construction; site cleanup, including removal of debris.

Budget:  Overall total cost of the response will be about $400,000; this includes replacing food that was in storage, which includes rice, cooking oil, yellow split peas and charcoal (used in cooking). It also includes the distribution of 10 days of emergency food rations.

Longer term, the CWS-supported response will focus on the reconstruction of 420 homes, two food warehouses, two charcoal warehouses and other community facilities, including two schools and a woman’s center.

Other emergency assistance being provided includes provision of blankets, plastic sheeting, rope and the cost associated with funeral arrangements. Four hundred twenty stoves and 840 cooking pots will be provided.

How to Help

Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. (REF: THAI BURMA BORDER CAMP FIRE # 700 F).

CWS is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.