U.N. Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths Steps Down for Health Reasons after Contracting Severe Case of COVID-19

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, will be stepping down for health reasons after nearly three years of addressing humanitarian crises around the world. Griffiths, who is 72 years old, revealed to The Associated Press that he contracted a severe case of COVID-19 in October and is still experiencing symptoms of long COVID. He 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.

Prior to this position, Griffiths served as the U.N. special envoy for Yemen for three years. 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. mission in Syria during the early years of the conflict. He was also director of the U.N. Department of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva in 1994, which preceded the establishment of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Griffiths later worked as the founding director of the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva with a focus on promoting political dialogue between governments and insurgents in various countries across continents, including Asia, Africa, and Europe throughout his career he has demonstrated a commitment to humanitarian efforts and conflict resolution.

Farhan Haq, the U

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