Assistant Nutrition & Food Security Officer – UNHCR


Job Description

OrganizationUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Job TitleAssistant Nutrition & Food Security Officer
LocationKassala, Sudan
Hardship LevelE
Job ID24864
Salary GradeNA
Family Location TypeNon-Family
Closing Date15/02/2021

Eligible Applicants

This position is advertised open to internal and external applicants.

Procedures and Eligibility

Interested applicants should consult the Administrative Instruction on Recruitment and Assignment of Locally Recruited Staff (RALS).Applicants must be nationals of, and be locally recruited within the country of their employment.

Duties and Qualifications

Assistant Nutrition and Food Security Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Assistant Nutrition and Food Security Officer is a member of a multidisciplinary team and will ensure that UNHCR’s nutrition and food security programmes meet minimum UNHCR and international standards, to minimise malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and anaemia prevalence and improve food security of populations of concern towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The incumbent provides timely technical support to UNHCR senior management and partners on the design and monitoring of UNHCR¿s responses in nutrition and food security. S/he provides guidance on nutrition and food security programming in line with global and national technical standards, supports design and implementation of nutrition and food security assessments (including Joint Needs Assessments with WFP) and communicates the data and analysis on the nutrition and food security situation to a range of audiences internally and externally.
The incumbent will support technical coordination with other regional UN agencies involved in nutrition and food security including WFP, UNICEF, WHO, FAO and NGOs in line with global guidance and commitments. S/he will share information and experiences, carry out joint assessments, seek financial and technical support for selected refugee operations, and conduct joint trainings.
The Assistant Nutrition and Food Security Officer will work closely with UNHCR¿s programme, cash, registration and data management staff on targeting of food and basic assistance with WFP. S/he will work with the Programme Officer (or other designated staff member) to support operational collaboration and joint programming with WFP on nutrition and food security.
The incumbent has a functional line to the Senior Nutrition and Food Security Officer in the Regional Bureau and/or in the Public Health Section in Geneva regarding authoritative guidance and support in technical matters and is expected to maintain regular contact with them.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


Coordination, Leadership and Partnership

  • – Assist with the coordination of nutrition and food security activities for Persons of Concern (POC) with other government, UN agencies, donors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other humanitarian partners including development actors to ensure nutrition and food security is in line with the Global Compact on Refugees and in support of the Sustainable Development goals, including SDG 2.
  • – Support operational collaboration with WFP including the design and implementation of Joint Assessment Missions and corresponding Joint Plans of Action in line with global commitments on targeting of assistance to meet basic needs and data sharing to support assistance distribution (in collaboration with programme and protection colleagues),
  • – Support inter-sector collaboration throughout all stages of programme cycle between nutrition and food security with public health, WASH, education, environment, shelter, and protection etc. in order to promote synergies and maximise impact.
  • – In collaboration with public health staff, provide assistance in the development and monitoring of country specific medium to long term inclusion plans in support of the Ministry of Health and other relevant Ministries (e.g. Social Welfare) and in partnership with development and other actors including the World Bank, International Labour Organisations, UNICEF, WFP, WHO and major donors.
  • – Work with stakeholders, including UN agencies, NGOs, Ministries of Health and academic institutions in the development of nutrition and food security plans associated with refugee movements (including in repatriation programmes).
  • – Maintain and update contingency plans for potential outbreaks, refugee and returnee movements.
  • – Advocate with government and partners for refugees, returnees and other POC¿s access to local public health and nutrition services as well as for their inclusion as a specific group in government policies, plans and social protection programmes.

Strategic planning and development

  • – Implement UNHCR¿s Strategic Plan for Public Health and its adaptation at country level.
  • – Ensure that Nutrition and Food Security strategies address known gaps in nutrition and food security programming based on country-specific needs assessment with due consideration to multi-sectoral linkages and existing national nutrition and social protection programmes.
  • – Assist in the development of country public health, nutrition and food security strategies (including targeting of basic food and non-food assistance) based on up-to-date assessment and identification of needs, recognizing the contributions of governments and other actors and in support of national health systems as much as possible; include preventive, promotive, curative, and rehabilitative care; recognise the different approaches required for the stage of the humanitarian response (preparedness, emergency, stabilisation, transition and long term inclusion) as well as for settlement or camp based POCs and those in urban or non-camp situations.
  • – Support the design, implementation and reporting on Joint Assessment Missions with WFP and the resulting Joint Plan of Action.

Technical Support

– Provide technical assistance on nutrition and food security to UNHCR’s staff and partners.
– Advise Field Offices on matters related to procurement of sector-related materials and equipment, and regular update on new developments and specifications of such items.
– Ensure dissemination and implementation of internationally accepted technical standards, policies, and guidelines within UNHCR and among partners; adapt accordingly to the unique situation of refugee populations.
– Advocate on all issues relating to refugees¿ and other POC¿s nutrition and food security including adequate access to services, inclusion in national systems and services and identification of development and international funding sources.

Assessment, analysis and monitoring

– Contribute to the planning and implementation of the UNHCR Standardized Expanded Nutrition Surveys.
– Coordinate and participate in joint needs assessments (including Joint Assessment Missions with WFP), nutrition and food security assessments of refugees and returnees.
– Assist in the design and implementation of the monitoring and evaluation system for nutrition and food security programmes within the Area of Responsibility (AoR).
– Provide guidance to staff and partners to implement the Health Information Systems, Post Distribution Monitoring and ensure linkages with nutrition cluster assessment tools and process in out of camp or host populations.
– Support the exchange and analysis of information on nutrition and food security at the national level with government and other partners.

Capacity Strengthening

– Undertake and/or support capacity strengthening of UNHCR and its implementing partners to ensure the technical integrity of nutrition and food security programmes in a co-ordinated, multi-sectoral way.
– Share relevant guidelines and information materials on programming relating to refugee nutrition and food security with staff and partners.
– Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Professional Work Experience

Years of Experience / Degree Level

For P1/NOA – 1 year relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or no experience with Graduate degree; or no experience with Doctorate degree.

Field(s) of Education

Human Nutrition, or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential).

Certificates and/or Licenses

Public Health;         Food Security;        Food Assistance;
Reproductive Health; Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF);
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience


Expertise in the area of nutrition and food security assessments including surveys, rapid screenings and rapid assessments. Experience in use of health and nutrition monitoring tools such as the Health Information System. Ability to work under pressure and in hardship conditions. Ability to promote good working relationships among colleagues, supervisors, and supervisees. Analytical and creative thinking abilities with solutions oriented approach. Ability to coordinate a range of diverse actors and activities to achieve a common objective in the area of Nutrition and Food Security. Knowledge and experience of working with partner agencies with a capacity to provide formal and informal technical training. Strong communication skills both verbal and in writing. Proficiency in computer software such as MS Access, Epi Info, Excel, PowerPoint, Word and other statistical programmes required for nutritional survey data analysis.


Previous professional work with refugees and other populations of concern to UNHCR with UNHCR, NGO’s and / or UN agencies. Experience in multi-sector programming for nutrition outcomes. Experience, advanced training and combined knowledge in various related fields: e.g. public health, food assistance/food security, IYCF, reproductive health, WASH. Demonstrated experience in Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices, targeting food assistance, small scale agriculture and livelihoods interventions, cash assistance to meet basic needs. Experience in project cycle management and working with diverse range of partners.

Functional Skills

  • IT-Computer Literacy
  • PG-Programme Management (project formulation, programme cycles and reporting standards)
  • MD-Experience with food aid/food security (incl. Survey, screening, assessment)
  • MD-Nutrition
  • MD-Nutrition-Food Supplm, SMART methodology, CMAM, IYCF, Voucher/Cash transfer
  • EX-Experience in hardship duty stations
  • EX-Field experience in emergency and/or large-scale settings
  • MG-Partnership Development
  • TR-Training/Coaching/Facilitation
  • (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements

For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

See below for this position’s Operational Context

  1. In November 2020, military confrontations between the federal and regional forces in Ethiopia¿s Tigray region, which borders both Sudan and Eritrea, prompted thousands of people to flee the region seeking safety in neighbouring Sudan.
  2. Prior to the current emergency, East Sudan was receiving an average of 4,000 new arrivals per year, mostly from Eritrea. By end of January 2020, more than 60,000 Ethiopian crossed the border who are hosted in transit sites and gradually relocated to new settlement sites such as Um RaKuba, Tunaydba in Gedaref State.
  3. The refugee influx to East Sudan started on 9 November with 146 individuals arriving from Humera (Ethiopia) through two border entry points, Lugdi and Hamdayet. Since then, the movement dramatically increased with a daily average of over 2,700 individuals crossing into Kassala and Gedaref. Most of the arrivals enter through Hamdayet (Kassala state) and in proximity to Village 8 in Gedaref State, including for example Ludgi border point. These border points are in extremely remote locations, only accessible via sand tracks and other non-paved roads.
  4. UNHCR has an exiting sub-office in Kassala and a field office in Girba then re-opened the field office in Gedaref, which are in close proximity to current border entry points. Both Girba and Gedaref offices will be reporting to Sub-Office Kassala.
  5. UNHCR/COR (Government of Sudan) manage a small transit centre at Hamdayet where wet feeding, screening and onward transportation to a designated camp are provided. Um Rakuba Camp with a population around 20,000 was opened in late November and Tunaydba Camp with a population 14,000 opened on 3 January 2021. The profile of refugees is mainly from the Tigray region in Ethiopia. Eritrean refugees residing in Ethiopia are likely to move to existing camps and seek asylum. Due to security reasons, except Hamdayet, UNHCR staff is daily commuting to Village 8, Um Rakuba and Tunaydba.
  6. The Refugee Working Group (RWG) in East Sudan is the main coordination forum for the emergency response, while the Refugee Consultation Forum (RCF) provides coordination at national level. In Gedaref level, there are 10 sub-working inter-agency groups and 4 of them were co-chaired with INGOs. There are around 28 partners working on the ground so there is a need to have a good coordination skill by all UNHCR staff. In addition to that, there are four Joint Committees on Education, Public Health, WASH and Protection that Governor of Gedaref and UNHCR are co-chairing in order to coordinate emergency response among Governmental entities in Gedaref State.
  7. The RCF launched an inter-agency Emergency Refugee Response Plan to respond to the Ethiopia situation, to meet the urgent needs of nearly 100,000 Ethiopian refugees expected to be fleeing into Sudan.
  8. There are over 3 million Persons of Concern in Sudan out of which some 1 million are refugees and asylum seekers and 2.4 million are IDPs. The South Sudanese refugees are the largest community with over 815,000 persons living across Sudan, followed by 121,000 Eritreans, Ethiopians 60,000. Over 70% of the refugees are hosted in urban areas among host population and 40% in camps and settlements. The UNHCR operation responds to the needs of refugees, asylum seekers, IDPs, Sudanese refugee and IDP returnees and stateless persons. UNHCR leads the inter-sectoral response to the Ethiopia refugee response through the Refugee Coordination Model (RCM), and works with a variety of implementing partners (Government, UN, International, National NGOs and Community Based Organizations). UNHCR has 13 sub and field offices throughout the country, responding to emergencies as well as protracted refugee situations in urban, camp based and rural settlement contexts and IDPs.
  9. The incumbent will be responsible of the response towards the Ethiopian refugees¿ emergency in East Sudan, which is covering two camps (Um Rakuba and Tunaydba) along with two reception/transit centres. S/he will supervise the Nutrition and Food Security interventions implemented by the partners in all sites and coordinated with government entities, identifying the gaps and needs both for host and refugee community and consequently allocate available resources while maintaining protection aspects integrated within all nutrition/food security activities.
    Closing Date

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