Information Hotlines and Disaster Response

  • Thailand


Jesuit Refugee Service

Date program started:



  • Provide support and information following natural disasters


  • Ensure information and advice was accessible to refugees, asylum seekers and the host community in a time of difficulty
  • Locate those affected by flooding and coordinate with others involved in disaster response

Targeted population:

  • Urban refugees, asylum seekers and host communities

Challenge addressed:

  • Difficulties in accessing those affected by flooding
  • Lack of coordination between different actors involved in disaster response

Program description:

  • Severe flooding occurred in Thailand throughout 2011, which effected Bangkok’s urban refugee community
  • JRS collaborated with other NGOs to operate the hotlines, provide translation services, promote information-sharing and assist in helping those affected access services
  • The telephone hotlines operated in Burmese, Cambodian and Laotian
  • Refugees and asylum seekers were able to use the hotlines to gain information and seek assistance, as well as gain information about the situation of others within their communities
  • JRS also maintained a presence in its Bangkok office during the holiday period, with several Cambodian and Vietnamese asylum seekers arriving there to seek assistance
  • As the flooding worsened JRS expanded beyond Bangkok urban refugees to include Thai nationals, migrants and people in detention, including providing emergency cash assistance, food, essential non-food items and temporary shelter

Impact on targeted population:

  • JRS monitored and provided assistance to the 300 asylum seekers that it targeted under its Bangkok urban refugee program (URP)
  • The hotlines and related services provided vital information and assistance at a time of difficulty

Impact on host community:

  • Thai nationals were able to benefit from information provided by the hotlines, as well the various other types of support offered by JRS in Bangkok and across the country

Conditions required:

  • Sufficient dedicated phone lines
  • Staff with language abilities able to provide support


JRS – Annual Report 2011

JRS – Thailand: flooding leaves thousands of migrants in limbo

Our impact

  • 3700

    refugees have better access to education and livelihood opportunities

  • 40

    countries in which our partner NGOs are implementing solutions

  • 490

    refugee children benefit from mathematics, english, art and sports classes

  • 700

    women can now support their families

  • 650

    refugees have access to critical healthcare and safety information

Get Involved

We’ve accomplished so much, but the growing urgency of refugee issues in cities means we have a lot more to do and we can’t do it alone. Support the refugee communities that need it most.

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