• Thu. May 30th, 2024

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths to resign due to health issues


Mar 25, 2024

Martin Griffiths, the U.N. humanitarian chief, is stepping down for health reasons after nearly three years of trying to address mounting humanitarian crises in various regions such as Ukraine, Gaza, and Africa, according to an announcement by the United Nations on Monday. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres commended Griffiths for his exceptional leadership and service to the United Nations and the humanitarian community in advocating for individuals impacted by crises and mobilizing resources to meet their needs, stated U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq. Griffiths, 72, had contracted a severe case of COVID-19 in October and is still experiencing symptoms of long COVID.

As crises continued to escalate worldwide and funds for humanitarian assistance dwindled, Griffiths took on the role of U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator in July 2021. Prior to this, he had served as the U.N. special envoy for Yemen for three years, showcasing his expertise as a seasoned negotiator with broad global experience. Haq mentioned that Griffiths will remain in his current position until the end of June to ensure a smooth transition.

Having previously served in various humanitarian roles, Griffiths was the director of the U.N. Department of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva in 1994 before heading the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, his current position. From 1999 to 2010, he was the founding director of the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva, focusing on political dialogue between governments and insurgents across different countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Griffiths also held various positions such as the first executive director of the European Institute of Peace from 2014 to 2018 and served as a special adviser to three U.N. special envoys for Syria. He was also the deputy head of the U.N. mission in Syria from 2012 to 2014, during the early stages of the conflict. Throughout his career, Griffiths worked as a British diplomat and collaborated with international humanitarian organizations like UNICEF, Save the Children, and Action Aid.

By editor

Leave a Reply