U.N. Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths Steps Down Due to Health Issues

Martin Griffiths, UN humanitarian chief, resigns due to health concerns

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres announced on Monday that Martin Griffiths, the United Nations’ humanitarian chief, is stepping down for health reasons after nearly three years of addressing humanitarian crises around the world, including in Ukraine, Gaza, and Africa. Griffiths is 72 years old and contracted a severe case of COVID-19 in October, which has left him with long COVID symptoms.

Griffiths assumed the role of U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator in July 2021 amidst escalating global crises and diminishing funds for humanitarian aid. Before this position, Griffiths served as the U.N. special envoy for Yemen for three years.

Farhan Haq, the U.N.’s deputy spokesman, stated that Griffiths will continue in his role until the end of June to facilitate a smooth transition. Throughout his career, Griffiths has held various roles in international humanitarian organizations, including serving as the first executive director of the European Institute of Peace, special adviser to U.N special envoys for Syria, and deputy head of the U.N.’s mission in Syria during the early years of the conflict. He was also director of the U.N.’s Department of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva before it became known as the UN Office for Coordination Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and later worked as founding director at Center for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva with a focus on promoting political dialogue between governments and insurgents across continents including Asia, Africa and Europe throughout his career he has demonstrated a commitment to humanitarian efforts and conflict resolution.

Upon hearing about his resignation many people are saddened by this news but also thankful for all he had done during his time at UNHCR.

Griffiths’ legacy will continue to inspire many people around

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