UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths resigning due to health concerns

The United Nations has announced that Martin Griffiths, the U.N. humanitarian chief, will be stepping down due to health reasons after nearly three years of addressing humanitarian crises in Ukraine, Gaza, and Africa. Griffiths, who is 72 years old, recently suffered from a severe case of COVID-19 in October and is still dealing with long-term effects. Despite his illness, he has continued to work tirelessly to advocate for those affected by crises and mobilize resources to meet their needs.

Griffiths took on the role of U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator in July 2021 during a time when global crises were escalating while funding for humanitarian aid was declining. Before becoming the U.N.’s top humanitarian official, Griffiths served as the U.N. special envoy for Yemen for three years. He will continue in his current role until the end of June to ensure a smooth transition. Throughout his career, he has held various positions in international humanitarian organizations, including director of the U.N. Department of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva and the founding director of the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue.

Griffiths’ experience in diplomacy and humanitarian work has made him an expert on addressing crises and supporting vulnerable communities around the world. He has been a special adviser to U.N. envoys for Syria and was involved in the early years of the conflict in Syria as the deputy head of the U.N mission there.

The United Nations praised Griffiths’ leadership and service in advocating for those affected by crises and mobilizing resources to meet their needs.

“Martin Griffiths has been an exceptional leader throughout his career,” said António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

“His deep commitment to humanity’s most vulnerable people is unmatched,” added Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

Griffiths’ contributions have made a significant impact on countless lives around the world.

As he steps down from his role as UN’s top humanitarian official, Griffiths can look back at many achievements including helping millions affected by conflicts worldwide get access to life- saving assistance such as food aid, medical care and shelter among other things.

By Riley Johnson

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