Griffiths Stepping Down as U.N. Humanitarian Chief after Contracting Severe Case of COVID-19: A Tribute to a Humanitarian Legend”.

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

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

Griffiths took on 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, he has held various roles in international humanitarian organizations, including serving as the first executive director of the European Institute of Peace and 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.

Farhan Haq, the U.N deputy spokesman stated that Griffiths will continue in his role until June to facilitate a smooth transition. He later worked as director of the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva which preceded the establishment of UN Office for Coordination Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). He was also founding director of Center for Humanitarian Dialogue with a focus on promoting political dialogue between governments and insurgents across continents.

Griffiths’ departure marks the end of an era at OCHA but his legacy will live on through his commitment to humanitarian efforts and conflict resolution throughout his career.

Throughout his distinguished career spanning over four decades, Griffiths has demonstrated a deep commitment to promoting peace and alleviating suffering around the world

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