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UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths resigning due to health concerns

Martin Griffiths, the United Nations (UN) humanitarian chief, is stepping down due to health reasons after nearly three years of leading efforts to address humanitarian crises in Ukraine, Gaza, and Africa. The UN announced this news on Monday, praising Griffiths for his leadership and service in advocating for those affected by crises and mobilizing resources to meet their needs.

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. He took on the role of UN 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 UN’s top humanitarian official, Griffiths served as the UN 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 UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva and the founding director of the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue.

Griffiths has also been a special adviser to UN envoys for Syria and was involved in the early years of the conflict in Syria as the deputy head of the UN mission there. With his vast experience in diplomacy and humanitarian work, Griffiths has made significant contributions to addressing crises and supporting vulnerable communities around the world.

During his tenure at the UN, Griffiths has focused on advocating for those affected by conflicts and working towards sustainable solutions that prioritize people’s wellbeing. He has also been instrumental in mobilizing resources from donors around the world to support those impacted by these crises.

The UN has expressed its gratitude towards Griffiths’ leadership and service over his time at the organization. The secretary-general António Guterres said that “Martin’s unwavering commitment to humanity’s most vulnerable members has been an inspiration to us all.”

By Samantha Jones

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