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URGENT APPEAL - Burmese Refugee Camp

Posted 13 March 2012 by Barb Williams (Qld Division)

 On Thursday 23 February 2012, a fire broke out in Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp on the Thai Burma Border. In a little over one hour, more than 1,000 homes were destroyed and around 4,000 Burmese refugees were left homeless – with many having lost all of their belongings.

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA is appealing for donations to assist those affected by the fire. Donations will be directed to one of our partners on the border, the Karen Women Organisation (KWO).

The role that KWO is playing in the recovery process is to help families replace household necessities, such as:
- cooking pots, plates and utensils;
- sleeping mats and mosquito nets; and
- warm clothing and items for children.

Click for more information or to download donation form

Camp residents sacrifice homes to stop fire
The fire started on Thursday 23 February 2012 in Section 9 of the Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp. The camp, which is home to over 15,000 refugees, is situated near Mae Sot on the Thai Burma border. The fire spread quickly through the camp - leaping from house to house by the thatched roofs. The fire was slowed and eventually stopped by camp residents who created firebreaks by removing roofing and knocking down houses ahead of the fire front. As well as the thousands left homeless, around 20 people were injured fighting the fire.

The fire also destroyed camp infrastructure including water pipes, 600 toilets and two nursery school buildings for small children. KWO’s role is being undertaken as a part of a larger recovery plan. Infrastructure such as the rebuilding of the houses, schools, and toilets will be undertaken by other organisations in the area.

If you wish to donate, please contact Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA on 1800 888 674 or click for more information or to download donation form

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