Through USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA), the United States sponsors qualified U.S. citizens for employment in the United Nations (UN) World Food Program (WFP) Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Program.
These fully funded JPO positions strengthen the humanitarian coordination capacity of WFP. They further encourage U.S. citizens to become active members of the international community. After completing their JPO assignments, a number of JPOs successfully compete for positions at WFP and in other international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Title: Regional Emergency Preparedness and Response Officer
Organization/Office: WFP/Panama Regional Bureau
Duty Station: Panama City, Panama
Date Required: As soon as possible
Duration: Two years
Duties and Responsibilities:
Under the direct supervision of the Head of the Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) and cash-based transfers (CBT) unit, and working closely with the rest of the program team in the Regional Bureau for Panama in particular the Research Analysis and Mapping (RAM) unit, the JPO will have the following responsibilities:
Advanced university degree or first level university degree in International Affairs, Human Rights, Social Sciences, or other fields relevant to international development assistance.
Two years of relevant working experience in humanitarian and/or development related work with an international organization.
Fluency in English; at least intermediate knowledge of Spanish is required.
To perform the wide range of tasks and excel in this position, the ideal candidate would also possess:
The UN believes that an inclusive culture attracts the best talent and encourages all qualified applicants, regardless of gender, disability, sexual orientation, cultural, or religious backgrounds, to apply.
The JPO will be working under the close support and guidance of a more experienced professional staff member and receiving guidance and regular feedback on work performed. The JPO will also be involved in program and policy activities and analytical work related to the areas of work mentioned above, allowing for a significant amount of on the job training.
A personal capacity building program will be established with the JPO at the beginning of his/her assignment, which will include the fulfillment of existing WFP emergency related and other specialized online trainings (on needs assessments, food security, nutrition, etc.), participation in thematic workshops, as well as assignments to Country Offices to facilitate on the job learning experiences.
At the end of the two-year assignment, the JPO should have obtained:
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.
Context and Background
Disasters are a leading cause of hunger, affecting all aspects of food security; therefore, reducing risk and building resilience are prerequisites to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 2, to create a world with Zero Hunger. LAC is home to nine of the world’s top-20 countries most vulnerable to natural disasters. Over the past five years, LAC countries have been affected by a variety of disasters and crisis, including hurricanes (Haiti 2016 and other Caribbean countries since), recurrent droughts (e.g., the dry corridor that crosses El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala), the Venezuelan migratory and refugee crisis (that affect Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) and socio-political crisis, (i.e., in Haiti, Venezuela, and Nicaragua).
With the exception of Haiti, the region is characterized by middle income countries, with governments that are strengthening their disaster management systems as well as social protection systems. However, these countries often require complementary assistance and/or technical assistance in order to ensure that these systems work together more effectively and become increasingly shock responsive. The region is also characterized by the presence of a number of vulnerable small island countries, where WFP does not have a direct operational presence, but where WFP is often called upon to support emergency preparedness and response related initiatives.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which has particularly affected the LAC region, has not only exacerbated these pre-existing socio-economic inequalities, hampering access to food and nutrition and affecting the basic livelihoods of millions in the the region, but is also outpacing the capacity of the disaster management and social protection systems of many countries in this region, which are increasingly calling upon WFP Country Offices to complement their emergency response efforts.
The WFP Regional Bureau in Panama is responsible not only for positioning WFP strategically in this region but also for the provision of support to its 12 Country Offices, at the operational level in view of facilitating the design and implementation of programs, strategies, and processes that strengthen the emergency response and preparedness capacities of their host countries.
This vacancy is archived.