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Ex Dutch Deputy Premier Sigrid Kaag appointed U.N. Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid in war-torn Gaza

World (LNW): Sigrid Kaag, the former deputy prime minister of the Netherlands and a Middle East expert, has been appointed as the United Nations coordinator for humanitarian aid to Gaza, a region grappling with the impacts of war, Associated Press reported.

The announcement came from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres following the Security Council’s resolution, which urged the swift appointment of a senior humanitarian and reconstruction coordinator for Gaza, according to report.

With over 2 million civilians facing urgent needs for food, water, and medicine, Kaag, who is proficient in Arabic and five other languages, is set to assume her duties on January 8.

Guterres highlighted Kaag’s extensive experience in political, humanitarian, and development affairs, as well as in diplomacy. Her role will involve facilitating, coordinating, monitoring, and verifying humanitarian relief consignments to Gaza.

Additionally, she will establish a U.N. mechanism to expedite aid deliveries through states not involved in the conflict.

A recent report by 23 U.N. and non-governmental organisations revealed that the entire population of Gaza is in a food crisis, with 576,000 people at catastrophic or starvation levels, and the risk of famine is increasing daily due to insufficient aid entering the region.

Israel had halted all deliveries of essential supplies after an incursion by the militant Hamas group in October.

The Israel-Hamas war has resulted in a significant loss of life, with over 20,900 casualties in Gaza, primarily affecting women and children. Despite some aid trickling in through Egypt under U.S. pressure, only a fraction of the food needs has been met.

Kaag’s appointment is anticipated to address and alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, leveraging her extensive background in the Middle East and her previous roles within the United Nations.

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