Biden appoints new special envoy for humanitarian issues in Middle East

Biden appoints new special envoy for humanitarian issues in Middle East

Shafaq News/ US President Joe Biden has appointed Lise Grande as his new Gaza humanitarian envoy, replacing David Satterfield who has held the role since it was established in October.

Grande “has an extensive background working in Africa and the Middle East including as the head of UN humanitarian and development operations in Yemen, where she coordinated one of the UN’s largest operations globally. Lise was also responsible for the UN’s humanitarian, stabilization, and development operations while serving as deputy head of the UN’s political mission in Iraq during the campaign against ISIS, where she led UN efforts to stabilize the more than twenty cities that had been liberated from ISIS control,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says in a statement announcing the appointment.

“Lise’s unique experience overseeing similar endeavors in complex and dangerous circumstances will allow her to continue this round the clock effort,” Blinken adds.

Satterfield, who took temporary leave as director of the public policy school at Rice University to take on the envoy role, will stay on at the State Department as a senior adviser, Blinken says, confirming reporting from The Times of Israel earlier this week regarding Grande’s appointment.

Satterfield’s replacement allows him to leave the post on a relatively high note.

On Tuesday, he told reporters that after months of sluggish performance by Israel and a stern call from US President Joe Biden with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on April 4, Jerusalem has taken “significant steps” to secure the entry and delivery of more humanitarian aid throughout Gaza.

Satterfield called on Israel to do more to facilitate efforts to avert famine in Gaza, including by establishing additional routes for aid to be transported throughout the Strip since the main two crossings have become overly congested due to the uptick in aid.

He also noted the need for the UN to secure additional trucks and transfer them into Gaza so that the additional assistance that has been approved in recent weeks can be delivered.

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