UN names Sigrid Kaag as senior humanitarian coordinator for Gaza

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Sigrid Kaag of the Netherlands as the senior humanitarian and reconstruction coordinator for Gaza.

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Kaag will facilitate, coordinate, monitor and verify aid consignments to the embattled enclave, in line with a recent UN Security Council resolution. She will also establish a UN mechanism to accelerate humanitarian relief shipments through states that are not party to the conflict, Xinhua news agency reported.

Kaag is expected to take up the assignment on January 8.

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According to a press note issued on Tuesday by the UN chief’s office, Kaag has a wealth of experience in political, humanitarian and development affairs, as well as in diplomacy.

Most recently, she served as the first deputy prime minister and first female finance minister in the Dutch Government since January 2022, and was minister for trade and development cooperation from October 2017 to May 2021, and minister for foreign affairs until that September.

Kaag has held a wide range of senior positions in the UN system, including serving as special coordinator for Lebanon from 2015 to 2017, and as the special coordinator of the Joint Mission of the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the UN Mission in Syria from 2013 to 2015.

On Friday, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2070, which, among other points, demands immediate, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale directly to Palestinian civilians throughout the Gaza Strip.

The resolution requests the UN secretary-general to appoint a senior humanitarian and reconstruction coordinator and calls for the “expeditious” establishment of the UN mechanism to ramp up aid distribution.

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