UN Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths To Step Down Due To Health Reasons

The Albino Foundation Public Notice

The Albino Foundation Public Notice

By Danjuma Oboni

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths, who has played a key role in pressing for aid to the Gaza Strip and led earlier efforts for Yemen, has announced he will step down due to ill health.

Griffiths, who has headed the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and served as the emergency relief coordinator for three years, said he has informed Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of his intention to step down in June.

 “To everyone at UNOCHA, it’s been the privilege of my life. I am deeply in your debt. To all partners and supporters, thank you for championing the cause of people in crises,” he said on Monday in a post on the social media platform X.

He has also raised the alarm on other ongoing humanitarian crises around the world.

This month, he warned that nearly five million people in Sudan could suffer catastrophic hunger in the coming months.

He has also faced criticism for his work.

After a trip to conflict-torn Myanmar last August, civil society groups said his visit failed to make substantial progress on humanitarian assistance and lent legitimacy to military coup leaders who had “weaponized aid”.

In a statement after his trip, Griffiths noted successive crises had left a third of Myanmar’s population in need of aid, and he appealed to the military to improve access to humanitarian relief.

“We need better access so we can help them daily, every day, every week, safely and securely,” he  said.

Griffiths previously served as the UN special envoy for Yemen and has been an adviser on Syria.

He has also worked for other international humanitarian organisations, including UNICEF, Save the Children and ActionAid.

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