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UNICEF Deputy Executive Director to Visit Viet Nam

© UNICEF Viet Nam \ Truong Viet Hung

Hanoi, 21 May 2004: Ms Karin Sham Poo, the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is to visit Viet Nam from 23 – 27 May 2004.

In this, her first visit to Viet Nam, Ms Sham Poo will be taking the opportunity to observe UNICEF’s work in Viet Nam. She will be looking at some of the challenges facing children, how they are being met now and what needs to be addressed in the next country programme (2006-2010) between the Government of Viet Nam and UNICEF.

Ms Sham Poo will meet with the Vice President of Viet Nam, Madame Truong My Hoa, the Minister for Planning and Investment, Mr Vo Hong Phuc and the Chairwoman of the Committee on Population, Family and Children (CPFC), Madame Le Thi Thu as well as other key government counterparts and donors.

She will also visit UNICEF supported project sites in Quang Tri Province. Quang Tri is one of Viet Nam’s poorest provinces and the UNICEF Deputy Executive Director will see a cross-section of education, water, health and nutrition and childhood injury prevention activities. While in Quang Tri, Ms Sham Poo will see UNICEF supported activities to prevent childhood injuries, now the biggest cause of death amongst children over one year of age in Viet Nam.

A resume of Ms Sham Poo is attached.

For further information, please contact:

Ms Sue Spencer, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Viet Nam, 72 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hanoi,    Tel: (04) 942 5706 ext 210 or

Ms Nguyen Thi Anh Dung, Communication Officer, UNICEF Viet Nam,
Tel: (04) 942 5706 ext 301 or


Biographical Note: Karin Sham Poo, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF

Karin Sham Poo is the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

 Ms. Sham Poo was appointed to her present position with UNICEF in 1987 after joining the organization in 1985 as Comptroller.  At present, UNICEF has 7,400 staff working in posts in some 126 countries, and total income that amounted to US$1,672 million in 2003.

 Before joining UNICEF, she served as General Manager, Marketing Division and Senior Vice President of the Christiania Bank in Oslo from 1982 to 1985 after holding several other managerial positions with the bank, which she joined in 1962.  She has also held managerial posts with Bergens Kreditbank and A/S Kjobmandsbanken in Oslo.

 Ms. Sham Poo has been active in professional, civic, and political organizations, and currently is a member of the Foreign Policy Group, based in Washington D.C., the Women’s International Forum, the Board of Directors of the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce, and the Board of Trustees and Finance Committee of the Norwegian Seamen’s Church, all in New York.

 From 1997-1998 Ms. Sham Poo was a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations International School, 1991-1996 she was Chairperson of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Steering Committee for the Improvement of the Status of Women in the United Nations Secretariat.  Ms. Sham Poo was formerly a Board Member of Euro Travellers Cheque, Brussels, representing the Norwegian Bankers’ Association, and a council member of the Norwegian Board of Leadership Education.  She was elected Deputy Member of the Oslo Hoyre (conservative party) in the Oslo City Council; was Board Member of the Association of Bank Economists; and was Deputy Member of the Board of the Handicraft and Small Industries Association.  At Christiania Bank, she was Chairperson of the Employees’ Selection Committee and a member of the Gender Equality Committee. 

 Born in Oslo, Norway, Ms. Sham Poo is a graduate of the Norwegian College of Banking, where she earned degrees in economics, law and banking.



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