Venezuelan Crisis - A Head of Mission

from Première Urgence Internationale
Closing date: 31 Jan 2020

Starting Date : December 2019

Duration of Mission : 5 months

Première Urgence Internationale (PUI) is a non-governmental, non-profit, non-political and non-religious international aid organization. Our teams are committed to supporting civilians’ victims of marginalization and exclusion, or hit by natural disasters, wars and economic collapses, by answering their fundamental needs. Our aim is to provide emergency relief to uprooted people in order to help them recover their dignity and regain self-sufficiency.

The association leads in average 190 projects by year in the following sectors of intervention: food security, health, nutrition, construction and rehabilitation of infrastructures, water, sanitation, hygiene and economic recovery. PUI is providing assistance to around 5 million people in 20 countries – in Africa, Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe and France.

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Crisis context

The serious and deteriorating political, human rights and socio-economic crisis in Venezuela has produced one of the most severe displacement situations in Latin America and in the world. According to official figures, some 4.5 million Venezuelans have left their country and most of them are in Latin American or Caribbean countries. This figure could reach 6.5 million people by end of 2020 worldwide.

The economic crisis in Venezuela has eroded the country's health-care infrastructure and threatened the public health of its people. Shortages in medications, health supplies, interruptions of basic utilities at health-care facilities, and the emigration of health-care workers have led to a progressive decline in the operational capacity of health care. These limitations have disproportionally affected the most vulnerable populations, including children, pregnant women, elderly, people with chronic diseases and remote communities. The effect of the crisis on public health has been difficult to measure since the Venezuelan Ministry of Health stopped publishing crucial public health statistics in 2016. From 2012 to 2017, maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity increased by 66 % and 51% respectively, requiring the strengthening of sexual and reproductive health services. At the beginning of 2019’s rainy season, malaria and dengue outbreaks were reported in Táchira and Zulia, which remains a significant threat to bordering countries given the migratory movements. In Colombia, for example, by June 2019 133,078 malaria cases were reported in Bolívar, 38,947 cases in Sucre, and 20,401 cases in Amazonas. Between 2017 and 2019, most patients who were infected with HIV interrupted therapy because of a lack of medications. By September 2019 the number of measles and diphtheria cases dropped by 92.2 % due to vaccination campaigns held by international organizations, compared to 2018. For other health conditions data is not current available. For example, 70% of the deaths in Venezuela were due to non-communicable diseases by 2016, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension and chronic respiratory diseases. The number of preliminary tuberculosis cases date from 2018, when 10,575 new cases were reported.

Outbreaks and expanding epidemics of infectious diseases associated with declines in basic public health services are threatening the health of the country and the region. In Colombia, many of the 1.4 million Venezuelans have walked along the migration routes with no access to health services, which leads the most common conditions (dehydration, superficial wounds, waterborne diseases, etc.) to worsen and increases the risk of further complications. Furthermore, PWSN (such as pregnant women, people with disabilities, newborns and elderly people) and those with chronic health conditions are also unable to access to the medical treatment that their conditions require.

Recently, some specialized health centers near the Venezuelan border in Colombia, Brazil and Guyana were equipped with pharmaceutical and medical-surgical material and supplies.

Première Urgence Internationale positioning

Following exploratory missions in the region, PUI aims to launch its humanitarian project covering health sector and develop its positioning and operational strategy in the region for 2020.

As part of our activities in the Venezuelan Crisis, we are looking for a Head of Mission.

The Head of Mission is responsible for the smooth functioning and the development of the mission.

Tasks and activities:

  • Safety & Security: S/he is responsible for the safety & security of the mission (including developing tools and policies in the country).
  • Programmes: S/he coordinates the team and ensures that the first project implemented on the mission is properly carried out. S/he also monitors needs and suggests new operations and development tracks for the mission (including the proposal development for ECHO by the end of January 2020)
  • Human Resources: S/he ensures that the mission is adequately staffed and supervises the teams (defining objectives, follow-up).
  • Logistical, administrative and financial monitoring: S/he implements logistical and administrative practices and make sure they respect PUI procedures and formats and are in compliance with donors’ rules and regulations.
  • Medical and technical monitoring: S/he ensures that medical and technical practices respect PUI’s procedures and formats and are in compliance with PUI’s operational framework and policy.
  • Representation: S/he represents the association in its relations with local partners, NGO in consortium, donors,the media and different authorities.
  • Relations with headquarters: S/he ensures that information is properly circulated between headquarters and the field, and ensures that due dates are respected.

Do not hesitate to look at the job description below for all the details you need.

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Training and Experiences


  • Project management
  • Financial management
  • Human resource management
  • Logistics and security


  • 3 years of humanitarian experience in project co-ordination (including health projects)
  • Previous experience as Head of Mission in an NGO or OSI (including opening projects and missions)
  • Experience in security management
  • Sound understanding of consortium dynamics and strong will to collaborate with local NGO

Knowledge and skills:

  • Excellent negotiation skills
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Team management
  • Project management
  • Detailed knowledge of the donors (OFDA, ECHO, UN agencies, EuropeAid, AAP…)

Languages: Spanish and English are mandatory. French in an asset.

Proposed Terms

  • Fixed-Term Contract: 5 months
  • Starting date: As Soon As Possible
  • Monthly Gross Income: from 2 915 to 3 245 Euros depending on the experience in International Solidarity + 50 Euros per semester seniority with PUI
  • Cost covered: Round-trip transportation to and from home / mission, visas, vaccines…
  • Insurance including medical coverage and complementary healthcare, 24/24 assistance and repatriation
  • Housing in hotel or collective accommodation
  • Daily living Expenses (« Per diem »)
  • Break Policy : 5 working days at 3 and 9 months + break allowance
  • Paid Leaves Policy : 5 weeks of paid leaves per year + return ticket every 6 months

To know more about our offer, look at the complete job description on our website!

How to apply:

Please send your application (Cv and Cover Letter) to Romain Gautier, Recruitment & Career Manager, at

Or follow this link and fill in the form on our website.