Rajaprajanugroh Foundation dispatches royal relief packages for victims of refugee camp blaze

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BANGKOK, 26 March 2013 His Majesty the King yesterday designated the Rajaprajanugroh Foundation under the Royal Patronage to send a mobile relief unit to help fire victims at the refugee camp in Khun Yuam district, in the northern province of Mae Hong Son. 

Mr. Wilas Rujiwatthanapong, chairman of the Foundation’s Relief Unit led his officials in distributing royal relief packages to 500 families affected by the fire disaster.

The fire ravaged more than 200 makeshift houses at the refugee camp on March 22 leaving about 2,300 refugees homeless. Investigators believe the blaze may have been caused by a forest fire due to the drought and destroyed the huts mostly made of bamboo and dried grass roofs. At least 35 people have been confirmed dead and about 100 suffered minor injuries.

The camp has accommodated about 3,000 Karen refugees for more than 20 years. It was one of the nine refugee camps on the Thai-Myanmar border offering asylums for ethnic Karen fleeing fighting between Myanmar government troops and rebel groups.

Temporary shelters for the homeless are being provided by the International Rescue Committee of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other charitable organizations.