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Nearly 60 people were left homeless when a fire broke out at the Umpiem refugee camp in Thailand’s Tak Province on Saturday.
The fire that started in the camp’s Zone-C and destroyed 13 homes, leaving 58 people empty-handed and in need of assistance, said the zone’s administrator Naw Lwe Say.
“On Sunday, representatives of the [United Nations refugee agency] UNHCR and NGOs as well as local Thai military personnel arrived at the camp and handed out 35 kg of rice, frying pans and blankets. At the moment, there’s no need to worry about food, as the affected residents are now staying over at their friends’ houses,” said Naw Lwe Say.
The greatest immediate need, he said, was for extra clothing, as most of what the affected refugees had was destroyed in the fire. Building materials such as wood and bamboo would also be needed before they could return to their homes.
The camp’s officials are investigating the cause of the fire.
There are over 10,000 refugees from Burma in the Umpiem camp, located near the Thai-Burmese border. Recently, the refugees were informed by the UNHCR to start preparing for repatriation back to Burma but no time has been set for the move yet.
Reporting by DVB