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UN aide says sanctions make Iraq a poor country REUTERS BAGHDAD, Jan. 19 - Iraq, despite its huge oil wealth, has become one of the least developed countries in the world, a senior U.N. official said on Wednesday. ''Iraq, with a $252 per person a year income, would be at the bottom of least developed countries,'' the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Hans von Sponeck, said. ''The Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) considers a country that has a (per capita) income less than $450 a year as a least developed country,'' von Sponeck told a group of Spanish MPs visiting Iraq to show their solidarity with the Iraqi people against crippling U.N. sanctions. Von Sponeck is responsible for an oil-for-food programme designed by the United Nations to alleviate the suffering of Iraqi people from the sanctions imposed to punish Iraq for its August 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The deal allows Iraq to sell limited quantities of oil over six months to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian needs for the Iraqi population. Von Sponeck, a German, has in the past drawn criticism from the United States and Britain for advocating an end to the nine- year-old U.N. sanctions. In October last year von Sponeck urged the U.N. Security Council members to seperate relief issues for ordinary Iraqis from the more controversial political issues of disarmament. U.N. inspectors have been banned from Iraq since December 1998 when Washington and London launched a four-day air and missile onslaught for Baghdad's failure to cooperate with the monitors. Baghdad has dismissed a new U.N. resolution which could return weapons inspectors to the country and ease sanctions. Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. <http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters01-19-045437.asp?reg=MIDEAST> -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full archive and list instructions are available from the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi