UNHCR assists relief efforts following deadly fire at Thai refugee camp

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In the aftermath of the fire in Ban Mae Surin refugee camp, UNHCR has sent plastic sheets, tents, blankets and sleeping mats to help some 2,300 Myanmar refugees who lost their homes. © UNHCR/ K. Santidhanyaroj

Authorities in Thailand are investigating the cause of a deadly fire at a refugee camp which killed 37 people and left 2,300 homeless.

More than 400 homes and other buildings were also destroyed in the fire which broke out on Friday afternoon at the government-administered camp located on the border with Myanmar.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is assisting with the relief efforts. Spokesman Adrian Edwards describes the incident as one of the worst they have seen at a refugee camp.

"Discussions are ongoing on the location of temporary sites as many people are still too traumatized to return to their homes. We have meanwhile set up family-sized tents, some 60 of them, more than 800 plastic sheets, 1,200 blankets and sleeping mats have been provided. The authorities and our NGO partners are also providing mosquito nets, clothing and other supplies."

The camp is one of nine border camps in western Thailand which house an estimated 120,000 refugees from Myanmar.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'04"

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