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UNHCR-Site Management Expert-P3-Nicosia, Cyprus

Nicosia, Cyprus
Terms of Reference
Mission location
Nicosia, CYPRUS
3 months
Operational Context
The Pournara First Reception Centre in Kokkinotrimithia was established in 2014 with European Commission funding, to operate as an emergency reception centre for third country nationals who arrive in large numbers. The centre is located in an isolated area near the buffer zone between the government-controlled areas and the occupied northern part of Cyprus. Its initial capacity was 400 persons, all of whom were hosted in tents. From 2014 – 2018, the center operated under the above terms and hosted on average 100 persons for a few days (maximum 72 hours), until the completion of the registration process.
In 2018, the authorities decided to turn the emergency reception centre into a First Reception Centre for all irregularly arriving asylum seekers and, for this purpose, to expand its capacity from 400 to 800 persons and replace the tents with prefabricated housing units. 550 persons would be hosted in the prefabricated units and the rest in tents. In addition, empty fields adjacent to the camp allow the further hosting of some 200 persons, if needed, bringing the centre’s capacity to 1,000 persons.
At the beginning of 2020, the government decided to start implementing the plans of hosting all new irregular arrivals at the centre. The number of residents increased dramatically, from 90 persons to 400 persons within a week. With construction work ongoing and without the necessary infrastructure in place, all asylum seekers were hosted in tents, without adequate access to electricity, hygiene facilities or segregation between women, men and children. With the adoption of COVID related measures, the residents were expected to go through a quarantine period, at times extending to 60 days due to the lack of adequate number of quarantine areas and residents were no longer allowed to exit the centre. This resulted to the sudden increase of the residents to over 1,600 and a consequent further deterioration of reception conditions.
Despite improvements in the infrastructure in 2020, the centre continues to operate at over 50% above its capacity. While some 500 persons are now hosted in the prefabricated units, over 1,000 persons continue to be hosted in tents in the quarantine areas, without adequate segregation or access to adequate and safe hygiene facilities or adequate access to services. The residents of the camp are mainly of African origin and Syrians, with a recent increasing trend in arrivals from Asia. n January 2021, a de-facto admission area was established in the back of the center, to host in tents a number of homeless asylum seekers, ranging from tens to more than a hundred, who cannot be admitted to the centre due to lack of space. Since the beginning of March 2021 residents are permitted to exit the center twice a day, however under a number of conditions, including completion of the quarantine period, registration process and the first instance interview. 
The situation led to a number of demonstrations during the past months, as well as to increased risk of SGBV among children and women in the camp. There is a lack of needs assessment upon entry to the center, and vulnerability assessments are conducted only once the PoC complete the quarantine process.. There is lack of written regulations of the centre or Standard Operation Procedures for all aspects of operations at the centre, and a need to establish a coordination mechanism among all actors present at the center. These gaps currently lead to delays in the completion of the registration process and the identification and response to the specific needs, the inappropriate placement of persons in sections/ housing units, and their hindered access to services. Although security arrangements were revised with the expansion of the centre, the overpopulation of the center as well as the ongoing construction work made the security arrangements inadequate and the security plan obsolete.
UNHCR is present at the centre with one UNOPS consultant and one NGO IP social counsellor, who are monitoring the situation of asylum seekers and provide advice and support, while assisting with vulnerability assessments. 
Aim of the Mission
The main focus of the Site Management Expert on Mission will be to provide expert advice to the authorities on the better organization of the centre, in an effort to of support the multi-sectoral response to assist and protect the asylum seekers on the site.
This will primarily involve providing written advice and support to the authorities in the management, and coordination of assistance and services, in order to ensure that services are provided in the centre in an appropriate and timely manner, as well as in the communication with the hosted population and the participation of the population at the site level through liaising with the site/camp management partner agency, the Government officers, and community representation groups.
In addition, the Expert is expected to provide training to the government and NGO personnel of the centre.
  • Build stakeholders capacity in management of the center
  • Set up standard operating procedures covering all aspects of the operation in the centre, including establishment of effective coordination systems.
Under the supervision of the Representative, the Site management expert will:
  • Support in the development and drafting of internal Regulations for the operation and management of the first reception centre, including the participation of the hosted population.
  • Draft and/or review of Standard Operating Procedures on the following aspects of operation of the centre:
  1. Admission to the centre, including from the community and the de facto admission area outside the gate of the centre
  2. Admission and Operation of the Quarantine Sections
  3. Admission and Operation of the Safe Zones
  4. Needs assessments, including the time, place, competent officers and means to conduct the assessments
  5. Medical checks and access to health services, including psychological support
  6. Distribution of food and other material assistance
  7. Vulnerability assessment, including the time, place and conditions to be met for conducting such assessments.
  8. Information sharing and appropriate and effective communication with the hosted population
    • Provide training and support the capacity building of relevant authorities and partner agencies in site management.
    • Support the authorities with the ongoing process of clarifying roles and responsibilities among site/camp stakeholders.
    • Support the establishment and strengthening of an effective and transparent coordination system, including the establishment and maintenance of effective coordination mechanisms and tools and coordination of service provision and other defined activities at the centre.
  • Experience working with UNHCR.
  • Experience in camp management field locations. Experience working with refugees
Essential requirements
  • 5 years working experience in the field
  • Bachelor in the field of Law, International Law, Political Sciences, Social Work, Social Sciences or in other related field.
  • Knowledge of international refugee protection.
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Fluency in English essential (knowledge of Greek would be an asset)
Personal Characteristics
  • Accountability
  • Flexibility
  • Political awareness, negotiation and diplomatic skills
  • Teamwork & Collaboration
  • Client & Result Orientation

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