UNICEF mourns loss of lives in Paraguay fire
ASUNCION, Paraguay, 3 August 2004 - UNICEF expressed its condolescences to the government and people of Paraguay today in the wake of yesterday's tragic fire in a mall in Asuncion that took the lives of more than 350 people, including at least 46 children. Dozens more are missing and in hospitals. In a letter to the country's president, Dr. Nicanor Duarte Frutos, UNICEF Regional Director Nils Kastberg and Paraguay Representative Adriano González-Regueral stressed the organization's readiness to join with other UN agencies in providing needed support. In particular, UNICEF offered to provide expert assistance to help adults and children alike to overcome the emotional and psychological trauma that disasters such as this one cause among the families of survivors and society as a whole.
UNICEF staff in Asuncion, together with officials from other UN agencies in the country, observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the tragedy, one of the worst in Paraguay's history.
For further information, please contact:
Cecilia Sirtori UNICEF Paraguay Tel: (595) 21-611007/8