The United Nations has appointed a former Dutch deputy prime minister and Middle East expert as its Gaza humanitarian coordinator.


United Nations (AP) — Sigrid Kaag, a former deputy prime minister of the Netherlands and Middle East expert, was appointed U.N. coordinator for humanitarian assistance in war-torn Gaza, the U.N. chief announced Tuesday.

The announcement by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is as follows Adoption of a resolution by the Security Council On Friday he was urged to quickly appoint a senior humanitarian and reconstruction coordinator for Gaza, where more than 2 million civilians are in desperate need of food, water and medicine.

Guterres said Kag, who speaks fluent Arabic and five other languages, brings “a wealth of experience in political, humanitarian and development affairs as well as diplomacy” to her new post. He is expected to start from January 8.

“It will facilitate, coordinate, monitor and verify humanitarian relief shipments to Gaza,” she said, adding that Congo will also establish a UN mechanism to accelerate aid delivery through states not involved in the conflict. Are.

Gaza’s entire population of 2.3 million is in food crisis, with 576,000 people at catastrophic or starvation levels and the risk of famine is “increasing every day”, according to a report released last Thursday by 23 UN and NGOs. It attributed to widespread starvation Inadequate aid entry into Gaza,

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After US pressure, Israel allowed aid through Egypt, but UN agencies say that for several weeks, only 10% of the food needed has been entering Gaza. Last week, Israel opened the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza and truck traffic increased, but an Israeli attack Thursday morning on the Palestinian side of the crossing halted aid pickups, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, or UNRWA, said.

Kaag has worked for years in the Middle East, including the Palestinian territories. She began working for the United Nations in Sudan in 1994 and served as regional director for the Middle East for UNRWA and for UNICEF, the United Nations children’s agency.

She also served as Assistant Director of the United Nations Development Programme, led the UN mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons and was the UN Special Envoy for Lebanon until October 2017.

Kaag then became the Minister of Trade and Development in the Dutch government and in 2018 she became the country’s first female Foreign Minister. Most recently, she served as the Deputy Prime Minister and the first woman Finance Minister from January 2022.

In July, she announced that she was leaving Dutch politics due to “hatred, threats and intimidation” that had “put a heavy burden on my family.” He told the website Euronews that he received several death threats after becoming finance minister and deputy prime minister, but the most frightening was when a man came to his house shouting and waving a burning torch.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen and the safety of your family is obviously the top priority,” Kaag, a mother of four, told Euronews in October. “It was difficult for me, but bearable. It was different for my family. I always listen to him and his opinion matters more than anything else in the world.

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