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28 September 1998   
Oil-for-Food Background Information


Hans von Sponeck Of Germany Appointed Humanitarian Coordinator In Iraq

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has decided to appoint Hans von Sponeck, a national of Germany, as United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq. Mr. von Sponeck will succeed Denis Halliday, who will leave Iraq on 30 September. The Secretary-General stated for the record his high appreciation for the dedication and experience that Mr. Halliday brought to this complex assignment.

As Humanitarian Coordinator, at Assistant Secretary-General level, Mr. von Sponeck will report to the Executive Director of the Iraq Programme, Benon Sevan. The Secretary-General established the office of the Iraq Programme in October 1997 to consolidate the management of United Nations Secretariat activities related to Security Council resolutions 986 (1995) and 661 (1990).

Since the first deliveries in 1997, nearly 7 million tonnes of food worth more than $2.2 billion and $366 million worth of medicine have been delivered to Iraq under the "oil-for-food" programme.

Mr. von Sponeck joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1968 and served in Ghana and Turkey. He was UNDP Resident Representative in Botswana (1983-1984), United Nations Resident Coordinator in Pakistan (1985-1994,) and then in India (1994-1997).

Mr. von Sponeck has degrees from the University of Tubingen and the University of Bonn in modern European history and from the Louisiana State University and Washington State University in anthropology and sociology. He is married and has three children.

Mr. von Sponeck will leave his current post as Regional Representative and Director of European affairs at the UNDP Office in Geneva and take up his new duties in Baghdad towards the end of October.

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For further information please contact Hasmik Egian, OIP - NY, 1.212.963.4341