Paraguay: UN agencies muster aid for survivors of disastrous fire

4 August 2004

United Nations agencies are mobilizing aid for Paraguay in response to a government request for assistance in dealing with the aftermath of Sunday's disastrous mall fire that killed nearly 380 people, wounded 170 more and left 43 others missing.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is sending support experts to train volunteers in helping both adults and youngsters overcome the emotional and psychological trauma. The agency has also provided two freezers to stock blood donations.

UNICEF has also provided two computers and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) is acquiring three more to support SUMA software, frequently used to manage the flood of relief supplies that often arrive in the aftermath of disasters.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has donated $20,000 and the local UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team expects to finish a damage and needs assessment by tomorrow morning.

The UN is also financing the purchase of HIV/AIDS-related drugs.