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Martin Griffiths steps down as UN Humanitarian and Relief Coordinator, Joyce Msuya replaces him on an interim basis

HumVenezuela | Caracas | July 4th, 2024

The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, is stepping down for health reasons. Joyce Msuya, who was serving as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Coordination, assumed the position on an interim basis as of 1 July 2024.

Griffiths, 72, told The Associated Press a few weeks ago that he had a severe case of COVID-19 in October and still suffers from prolonged COVID.

On his departure, Griffiths said, “It has been an honour to serve as UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the past three and a half years. I have witnessed first-hand the suffering of millions of people affected by conflict, natural disasters and other crises, and have worked tirelessly to mobilise the global humanitarian response to help them.

He also highlighted some achievements during his time in office, including the creation of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for Syria, the expansion of the use of cash in humanitarian assistance, and increased funding for the response to the crisis in Yemen.

“I am deeply grateful for the support I have received from Member States, UN agencies, non-governmental organisations and humanitarian workers around the world”, said Griffiths. “I am confident that Joyce Msuya will continue to lead the global humanitarian response with great skill and dedication.

Msuya, who has extensive experience in the humanitarian field, joined OCHA in 2013, and has held several high-level positions in the organisation. Prior to joining OCHA, Msuya worked at the World Food Programme (WFP) for 15 years.

“I am honoured to take up this position at such a critical time for global humanitarian action”, Msuya said. “I am committed to working tirelessly to ensure that people affected by crises receive the assistance they need”.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres thanked Griffiths for his service and expressed his full confidence in Msuya.

“Martin Griffiths has been an exceptional leader in global humanitarian response”, said Guterres, “he has demonstrated a deep commitment to the well-being of people affected by crises, and has worked tirelessly to mobilise international action to help them. I am confident that Joyce Msuya will carry on Martin’s legacy and lead the global humanitarian response with great skill and compassion”, said Guterres.