Baptist World Alliance, BWA News Release

BWA sends aid to refugee fire victims

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The Baptist World Alliance® (BWA) sent an initial sum of US$20,000 to assist Karenni refugees whose homes were badly damaged or destroyed in a fire in a refugee camp in Thailand, killing 37 persons.

The Karenni are a subgroup of the Karen people living mostly in Kayah State (formerly Karenni State) of Myanmar. Many of the refugees fled conflict zones in Kayah and Karen states.

The fire, which occurred on March 22 in the Ban Mae Surin camp in Mae Hong Son province of northern Thailand, was extinguished about two hours after it began.  Approximately 200 people were wounded and hospitalized. At least 2,300 persons were left homeless.

“Our prayers are with the people who have lost families and loved ones and we ask the Baptist family to continue to support them in their prayers,” said Baptist World Aid Director Rothangliani Chhangte. “Some children have been left orphaned and there is need for our continued prayers and support for the people.”

Blooming Night Zion of the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) told the BWA that among the facilities destroyed and damaged were a church, a clinic, a hospital, two schools, two food warehouses, KWO offices, and many houses.

Mae Surin camp is one of 10 refugee camps on the Thai-Myanmar border, housing a total of about 130,000 refugees.

Baptist World Alliance®
© April 9, 2013

The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 253 conventions and unions in 130 countries and territories comprising 51 million baptized believers in 176,000 churches. For more than 100 years, the Baptist World Alliance has networked the Baptist family to impact the world for Christ with a commitment to strengthen worship, fellowship and unity; lead in mission and evangelism; respond to people in need through aid, relief, and community development; defend religious freedom, human rights, and justice; and advance theological reflection and leadership development.