UN agencies confirm at least 14 dead, hundreds missing in Bolivia landslide

3 April 2003

In the wake of a devastating landslide in northern Bolivia, United Nations agencies and local rescue workers continue the struggle to recover bodies and reach victims stranded in a tiny gold-mining settlement.

Although the total number of persons missing or dead is still unknown, the United Nations has confirmed today that the landslide, which hit the rural town of Chima on Monday, claimed the lives of at least 14 people and injured 168 more. UN agencies report that more than 200 homes were destroyed, affecting roughly 600 persons.

Immediately following the disaster, the UN country team dispatched a joint agency mission, including the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), to carry out a damage and needs assessment in the affected area.

Thus far, WFP has provided 22 tons of food, while UNICEF and WFP have provided some tools and WHO some 2,000 first aid kits. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has provided an emergency cash grant of $10,000 and has allocated a $20,000 contribution from the Norwegian emergency fund OCHA manages.


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