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GOARN request for assistance: Africa drought & food insecurity 2022

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Millions in the greater Horn of Africa are facing acute hunger as the region is experiencing one of its most severe droughts in recent history compounded by the impact of other multiple and overlapping shocks such as conflicts, flooding, macro-economic challenges, increases in the price of agricultural and food commodities due to the conflict in Ukraine and supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19.

Malnutrition and disease have a synergistic relationship, with poorer health outcomes for malnourished persons and people falling sick more easily due to malnutrition. Health is an underrecognized, essential component of the response to a food insecurity crisis.

A strong health response is essential to avert morbidity and mortality in a food insecurity crisis.

As families face such severe food insecurity, they are taking desperate measures to survive. Many have left their homes in search of food, water and pasture. Many people have been displaced due to climate and conflict, with over 17 million refugees and IDPs within the countries of the response.

Malnutrition and diseases are working in synergy toward increasing levels of morbidity and mortality among populations facing famine-like conditions.

Request for Assistance

The following areas of expertise are sought to further strengthen the response over the next 6 months:

  • Epidemiology and surveillance (including field epidemiology)
  • Infection Prevention and Control
  • Information Management
  • Public Health Specialists
  • Social mobilization/Community Engagement
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Nutrition

Preference will be given to deployments that can cover longer periods; however, a rotation of experts for a minimum of 6 week field periods to provide adequate planning and overlap, may be accepted

All positions will work in close collaboration with other members of the incident management team (based out of Nairobi), WHO Country Offices, Ministries of Health and Operational Partners in the field.


Education and training:

Essential – Advanced university level degree (Master’s level or above) in the relevant field for the profile (e.g. public health, epidemiology, or similar field).

Desired – PhD, Medical degree with specialization (incl public health), or further specialization in the area relevant for the emergency response.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of area of expertise
  • Previous international experience, preferably in the countries under this emergency grading (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda).
  • Experience with WHO, UN agencies, US CDC or a health cluster member organization.
  • Prior experience in areas related to incident management systems (IMS) and management of complex public health emergencies.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Excellent analytical, planning and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work in the team, with limited supervision.
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • For Anglophone countries: Excellent knowledge of English
  • For Francophone countries: Excellent knowledge of French
  • Intermediate knowledge of French and English
Deployment duration:
  • 6 weeks minimum
  • 8 weeks or more

In line with the usual GOARN procedures, WHO will cover the cost of travel and per diem (daily allowance) for staff deployed and provide logistics and security support in country.

WHO Response

WHO, along with health partners, is ramping up its response in the region as the situation deteriorates.

An ad hoc joint WHO AFRO and EMRO team embedded within the WHO Nairobi Hub has been established to support country operations, harness the resources and coordinate efforts among the different partners operating in the greater horn of Africa to scale up operations.

This includes actions along 5 main strategic axes, for which GOARN support is requested:

  • Coordination and Collaboration
  • Surveillance and Information:
  • Outbreak prevention and control:
  • Essential Nutrition Actions:
  • Essential Health Service Actions:


Offers of support can only be submitted BY ACIPC MEMBERS (please include this information on your CV).

Please send expressions of interest with full details required below to

Please provide all required details for the offer including CV, availability date range, maximum duration for deployment and position(s) you would make yourself available for.

Please note that only complete applications from candidates, fulfilling all essential requirements listed above will be considered.

WHO and the GOARN Operational Support Team (OST) would like to express gratitude and thank all the GOARN partners that have provided their potential availability for this response.