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UNFPA-Emergency Response Specialist-P3-Herat, Afghanistan

Herat, Afghanistan
Position Title: Emergency Response Specialist
Receiving Agency: UNFPA
P Level: P3
Location: Herat, Afghanistan 
Duration: 6 months
Language: English is required

Mission Specific Considerations

Remote-Based Deployments (if remote-based please only fill in this table)
Considerations for remote-based deployments
If the deployment is remote-based, is the country office set up to ensure ongoing communication / team integration and appropriate supervision with the deployee from afar? Please explain.  

Physical deployments (only fill out if you anticipate surge to physically deploy)
Pre-departure considerations for physical deployments
Does this duty station require candidates to have undertaken SSAFE training? If so, can the office provide training upon arrival?  
Are there any special/new, specific visa considerations that need to be considered?
Upon arrival visa and visa extension processing time is 2 weeks.
Is there any equipment that the Surge should become equipped with prior to travel, e.g. PPE such as masks, gloves, sanitizer, etc?
Covid restrictions have been lifted throughout the country.

SRSG on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer and the COVID-19 Task Force has suspended the mandatory 5 days quarantine and PRC testing on the 3 day of arrival, following the significant reduction in COVID-19 cases in the UN community and at country level in general.

UN personnel are advised to stay at home if they have any symptoms.

The Surge should be equipped with PPE for travel and transit periods. The country office will provide hand sanitizer upon arrival.
Is there any other paperwork that the local government authorities require upon entry/re-entry into the country? There is no other paperwork in addition to the valid visa and a proof of COVID 19 vaccination.
On mission considerations (for physical deployments):
What type of accommodation is available for Surge deployees?
The SURGE will stay in the UNICEF accommodation in Herat.

The UNFPA country office will arrange the booking of the accommodation.
Is the duty station on an R&R cycle and if so how often?

4 weeks
Medical Treatment
Are there any government restrictions or limitations that would adversely impact in-country medical treatment plans or medical evacuation?
There are no government restrictions or limitations that would adversely impact in-country medical treatment plans or medical evacuations.
Office arrangement for telecommuting
If the Surge needs to telecommute within the country, can the country office demonstrate that the deployee is realistically able to work in terms of remote connectivity, equipment, etc.?
If the Surge is required to physically deploy, can the country office provide necessary equipment, e.g. masks, gloves, sanitizer?
Yes, upon arrival, the country office will provide hand sanitizer.

Background Description of Emergency / Justification for Request (Please provide a short paragraph outlining the prevailing humanitarian situation and context and why this justifies the role.)
The 6.3 magnitude earthquake on 7 October 2023, and another of the same magnitude on 11 October, have shaken Herat province in the western part of Afghanistan. Numerous aftershocks continued until 14 October, leaving the local population in a persistent state of anxiety and fear.

On 15 October, another earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 struck areas northeast of Herat City. This was the third earthquake to hit communities in Herat Province within a week. Two people died and over 150 were injured. The casualty count is not expected to significantly increase, as many residents have been living outdoors out of fear that their houses would collapse from the aftershocks. The earthquake caused varying degrees of damage to humanitarian facilities, residences and offices. So far, 7,165 families, or 43,395 individuals, have been directly impacted by the recent earthquakes in different districts, including Injil (23,053 people affected), Kushk/Rabat-e-Sangai (8,541), Zindajan (7,523), Gulran (3,428), Herat (717) and Kohsan (133).

A rapid satellite imagery analysis conducted by the Global Shelter Cluster indicates around 21,282 structures have sustained damages as a consequence of the earthquake. It is anticipated that the extent of damage may increase as further analysis and assessments are conducted. In addition, at least two hospitals, Herat Regional Hospital and Sakina Yakoubi Maternity Hospital, sustained minor damage to be assessed.

Additionally, two years following the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, there remains a significant humanitarian crisis in the country - including in Herat province. Millions of Afghan people are enduring severe hardships due to a lack of access to essential services, particularly healthcare. Aside from the considerable human suffering, this crisis is undoing many of the progress made over the past two decades, particularly concerning women's rights.

To respond to this dire situation, UNFPA has been providing lifesaving humanitarian interventions. The overall goal of UNFPA’s interventions in the humanitarian context in Afghanistan is to provide life-saving reproductive health services and prevent, mitigate and respond to gender-based violence among the affected population, including women, girls and young people.
UNFPA key interventions including: 1. Maternal and reproductive health; 2. Psychosocial support services for women and girls; 3. Lifesaving adolescent sexual and reproductive health services; and Emergency supplies.

UNFPA Area Office in Herat is led by the Head of Office, who is also the chair of the Regional Humanitarian Team under the Humanitarian Country Team’s umbrella, has been managing the UNFPA’s earthquake emergency response since the day the earthquake hit the province.

To ensure continuity, better monitoring and reporting, as well as scale-up of the emergency response programming, the UNFPA Country Office in Afghanistan is seeking a Humanitarian Specialist to work with the frontline staff in Herat and Kabul.

Security Situation Summary in country and main threats: (i.e armed conflict, terrorism, crime, social unrest, hazard)

The security situation remains volatile, though the number of security incidents has reduced significantly since the takeover of the country by Taliban in mid August, there are still a number of security incidents that have taken place throughout the country, including Kabul. The security level in the country remains HIGH and requires strict compliance with the sustained recommendations issued by UN Integrated Security Workforce (ISW).

The main incidents’ drivers are arrests and crime followed by armed clashes. Security incidents attributable to the Islamic State are on rise. The UN remains vulnerable to crime, intimidation, and threats. Crime rate remains high, mainly due to the ongoing humanitarian and economic crisis. The UN premises in Kabul and in the country have efficient physical security protection. UN Compounds in Kabul host the AFPOs Country Offices and accommodation for only international personnel. The indiscriminate use of IEDs carries a significant risk to UN road movement. The use of armored vehicles for transportation is mandatory for activities outside the UN premises.

All UN personnel on assignment/deployment for more than 3 months in Afghanistan must attend mandatory Safe and Secure Approach to Field Environment (SSAFE) Certification Training.

Role Description:

Under the overall supervision of the UNFPA CO Representative, and direct supervision of the Head of Office in Herat, the incumbent will work closely with the Humanitarian Coordinator and MRH, GBViE, and Humanitarian units, including A&Y section and Supply Chain focal point based in Kabul. The incumbent facilitates the implementation of UNFPA’s Herat earthquake emergency response by ensuring the timely implementation of UNFPA’s NGO partners according to the approved workplans; supports the monitoring and data collection/reporting, as well as supports coordinating and communicating UNFPA’s humanitarian interventions with other relevant external coordination bodies as well as internally with M&E, Communications, as Operations units.


Programme Development and Implementation
  • Support the Area Office in Herat to monitor, report, and track the overall earthquake response executed by its NGOs’ partners.
  • Ensure inclusion of SRH, GBV, and A&Y concerns in relevant RHT/HCT and ICCT initiatives, including joint missions and other rapid assessments in close collaboration with SRH, GBV and A&Y officers.
  • Advise the UNFPA CO and Area Office in preparation for and participate in coordination meetings relating to emergency response and ensure follow-up.
  • Support the development of proposals and ensure quality review.
  • Coordinate the implementation of the UNFPA Standards Operating Procedures for humanitarian settings.
  • Assist the UNFPA CO to track and report on the commodities at the Herat warehouse and provide support to the NGO partner managing the warehouse to ensure proper documentation of warehouse commodities.
  • Coordinate with the AY team the YPeer volunteers' engagement in the earthquake response to ensure meaningful participation of young people.

Rapid Assessments/field visits
  • As appropriate, participate in /ensure inclusion of UNFPA’s core Areas of Responsibility in rapid field/needs assessments of the crisis-affected populations.
  • Conduct regular monitoring visit and involve in the inter-agency assessments to gather information on the immediate needs of the people and the services to be provided.
  • Undertake missions and assessments as appropriate to recommend strategic approaches and to address issues, such as SRH, GBV, mental health and psychosocial issues, data and young people.

  • As requested, coordinate CO’s various interventions and represent UNFPA at Cluster / Working Group coordination meetings to share knowledge and ensure comprehensive understanding.
  • Ensure inclusion of UNFPA mandate through participation in existing Clusters and/or, if appropriate, assist in the establishment of working groups to address SRH, GBV and A&Y.
  • Liaise with other sectors/Clusters (such as health, protection, WASH, camp management, education, logistics, early recovery) to ensure inclusion of UNFPA’s mandate.

Communication/ Reporting
  • Assist the CO in preparing relevant advocacy material and updates for relevant stakeholders and partners, including donors.
  • Assist in providing regular updates to OCHA and/or Cluster leads on UNFPA’s humanitarian interventions to be included in situation reports (i.e.:  SitRep).
  • Track and regularly update supported humanitarian interventions (i.e. status of funding proposals, distribution of supplies, training).

Resource Mobilization/Humanitarian funding
  • Advocate for inclusion of ICPD PoA in emergency response and ensure UNFPA is well positioned in resource mobilization efforts, including humanitarian funding mechanisms such as Flash Appeal/ CERF).
  • As necessary, identify and organize meetings with in-country donors to discuss resource mobilization.

Any Other Duties
  • Perform any other duties as required by the Representative and/or Head of Office, RO/SRO, and HQ.

Qualifications and Skills Required:
  • Advanced technical degree preferably in medicine, public health, social sciences, humanitarian response, international relations or related field.
  • At least five years of experience in coordinating, developing and implementing humanitarian interventions in crisis settings.
  • Knowledge of the humanitarian architecture and systems, and roles/responsibilities of humanitarian actors.
  • Strong analytical, coordination and organizational skills.
  • Strong familiarity with Asia and the Pacific region is a must; and previous working experience in South Asia regions is preferable.
  • Proficiency in English required. Other official UN languages an asset.

CANADEM and its partners have a no-tolerance policy for inaction to prevent, respond to and follow up on alleged cases of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment (SEAH). For this reason, we adhere to all policies, procedures and training of the United Nations on The Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment (PSEAH). CANADEM mandates all deployees successfully complete the PSEA online course. This e-learning course is composed of a set of lessons designed to raise awareness about SEAH, become familiar with a range of measures to combat SEAH, understand the impact on victims and the consequences for UN Personnel who commit Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment.

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