International / Multinational

Country Director at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes. Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Country Director

Requisition ID: 151344
Location: Abuja (FCT)

What Does It Mean To Be A Country Director, D2 At WFP:

  • Country Directors at the D2 level at WFP work in relatively large Country Offices with high visibility operations usually characterized by a considerable level of programme complexity including rapidly changing development/emergency relief programmes. Nature of the external environment implies extremely volatile security situation and/or politically sensitive environment with rapidly changing humanitarian needs and high risks for emergencies.
  • A WFP Country Director holds a dual accountability:
    • To provide leadership and direction to the WFP Country Office team, managing and leveraging resources and delivering Country Strategic Plan (CSP) fostering partnerships and ensuring effective implementation of activities in compliance with the established objectives, WFP accountability framework, standards of performance, ethics and integrity.
    • To actively participate in the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in direct support of the Resident Coordinator and the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF). )
  • In addition, the WFP Country Director is expected to support and work with national governments pursuant to attaining SDGs, particularly achieving zero hunger, while simultaneously maintaining and upholding UN standards and ethics.
  • The position offers the opportunity to leverage WFP’s significant operational capacities in food security and nutrition, supply chain and common services provision (Logistics Cluster & UNHAS), and strong partnerships with other UN agencies and implementing partners towards achieving SDG 2 and 17 and contributing towards WFP’s goal of ‘Saving Lives, Changing Lives’.

About the Position

  • WFP Country Office in Nigeria is a relatively new Country Office having been re-established in 2016 after having been closed in the late 1980s.
  • There are approximately 2.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) reported to be in Nigeria (IOM/DTM Round 37), of which the majority are in the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
  • The March 2021 Cadre Harmonisé (CH) reports nearly 4.4 million people in need of food assistance in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.
  • The prevalence of malnutrition is unequally distributed across the country with the northern states disproportionately affected.
  • The protracted conflict in the northeast continues to disrupt seasonal livelihood activities and farming, impede households’ access to food and trigger population displacement, which is further deepened by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated surge in food prices, all of which underscores heightened food insecurity levels and worrisome humanitarian needs in the northeast.
  • Underlying climate related shocks continue to exacerbate food and nutrition security in the northeast.
  • WFP operations focus on crisis response and resilience-building support to prevent deterioration of food and nutrition security, reduce malnutrition and minimize gender inequalities.
  • WFP activities are concentrated in rural areas of north-eastern Nigeria that are more vulnerable and food insecure.
  • WFP also has parallel initiatives focused on strengthening institutional capacities and policies and addressing the root causes of hunger across the country.

Key Accountabilities (not all-inclusive):

  • Provide strategic direction to WFP country team in the conceptualization and delivery of the Country Strategic Plan (CSP), leveraging partnerships and effective planning and utilization of human and financial resources, ensuring compliance and adherence to WFP policies and procedures, standards of performance, ethics and integrity.
  • Contribute to the development of corporate WFP strategies and policies, ensuring that operational realities inform effective planning and that WFP corporate initiatives and strategies are deployed promoting and driving positive change.
  • Provide effective leadership and people management to the Country Office team to ensure the continued development of a cohesive and high performing WFP country team.
  • Actively represent WFP and engage with the national government with the  objective to better support longer-term sustainable solutions, address immediate humanitarian needs, promote humanitarian-development nexus, and provide leadership in negotiating humanitarian space/access, actively participating in and effectively building on the longer-term vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) principle of ‘Leave No One Behind’.
  • Position and represent WFP to the public and media, promoting and safeguarding its reputation, advocating for WFP activities, raising resources and taking well-planned actions to contribute to WFP’s mandate in saving lives and changing lives.
  • In close consultation and collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, lead development and oversee planning and implementation of CSPs, aligned with the national government priorities, SDGs, wider UN strategies and WFP policies and procedures ensuring timely and effective responses to meet changing food security and nutrition needs.
  • Position WFP as a trusted partner at a national, regional and global levels as appropriate, to raise resources for WFP and enable the effective positioning of WFP to achieve country goals; Build productive relationships with  governments, beneficiaries, civil societies, and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
  • Act as role model of the WFP values, principles and standards of WFP, actively contributing to creating and enabling an inclusive, safe and harmonious work environment, in which employees are protected from exposure to any form of abusive conduct (harassment, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and discrimination), increasing employee engagement through respectful and constructive communication and holding self and other team members accountable for their actions. Ensure that the Office(s) has adequate mechanisms in place for reporting and addressing such abuses, in line with corporate guidelines, and that these are regularly communicated to all staff.
  • Promote health and wellbeing within the workplace and mitigate risks related to stress, health and safety, through taking systematic and measurable actions.
  • Under the guidance and coordination with the Resident Coordinator (RC), participate in the UN Country Team (UNCT) and/or Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), actively contribute to strengthening UN coherence and promote joint analysis, planning and implementation, and periodically report to the RC on WFP contributions and support for implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF).
  • Establish with the country team clear performance objectives and indicators holding teams and individuals accountable for results, promoting team collaboration, synergies, development and providing timely guidance to enable effective performance planning, management and assessment.
  • In support of the Resident Coordinator (RC) actively contribute to resource mobilization efforts for joint UN efforts, collaborate on the harmonization of programming, common services and operations to strengthen UN system interagency coherence and cooperation.
  • Participate in the Common Country Assessment (CCA) and UNSDCF planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation through UN Results Groups and respective Joint Workplans.
  • Participate in the performance appraisal of the RC together with other UNCT members.
  • Hold accountability for regular and consistent monitoring and quality control of the CSP delivery verifying compliance with policies and procedures, donor commitments, accountabilities, assessing progress, identifying and taking decisions to resolve bottleneck and issues; take lead to ensure that evaluation, audit and compliance recommendations are efficiently implemented to foster progress and improvements in operations.
  • Pro-actively advocate, review and update on the CSP implementation progress and critical issues to relevant partners and stakeholders demonstrating that WFP is providing effective programmes making positive impact on beneficiaries and meeting national government priorities.
  • Oversee and guide the regular preparation/update of emergency preparedness and contingency plans and related activities to ensure Country Office readiness and ability to take timely and appropriate actions in the event of emergency response providing effective leadership and ensuring interagency coordination.
  • Participate as a member of Security Management team (SMT) guiding and influencing decisions, and hold responsibility for security of WFP employees, premises and assets in compliance with WFP accountability framework, policies and procedures.
  • Accountable for an equitable and inclusive workplace which incorporates all dimensions of the WFP diversity and inclusion framework such as but not limited to racial equity, gender equality and disability inclusion.
  • Other as required.

Standard Minimum Academic Qualifications

  • Advanced University Degree in Economics, International Development, Social Sciences or other relevant field, or First University Degree with additional years of related work experience and/or advanced training / courses.

Desired Experience:

  • Led strategy planning and operations within a large and complex country or equivalent environment.
  • Has gained significant experience in management of a number of large scale, diverse and complex programmes in diverse emergency and developmental contexts
  • Has led in managing the finances and other support services of an office or Division.
  • Has significant experience in developing and implementing internal controls and exercising delegation of authority in a variety of contexts.
  • Has gained significant people leadership and management experience, effectively uniting large and diverse multi-national and multi-discipline teams by delivering on country workforce plans.
  • Has led significant and complex negotiations with donors / government officials, partners, media outlets, etc. on a diverse range of issues.
  • Has led in giving media statements and leading news briefings to ensure appropriate representation of WFP externally in high profile situations of acute sensitivity.
  • Has led large and complex fundraising initiatives which have had a significant positive impact within area of responsibility.
  • Has led a large and highly complex emergency-oriented operation, in a hardship duty station Demonstrated ability to deliver change and results in operationally sensitive contexts.
  • A leader with a high degree of integrity and forethought in his/her approach to making decisions.
  • A strong sense of diplomacy and instincts for organizational dynamics in order to manage complex and trusted relationships tactfully and effectively.
  • Excellent presentation, public speaking and overall communication skill.


  • Fluency (level C) in English language.
  • Intermediate knowledge (level B) of a second official UN language: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, and/or Portuguese (a WFP working language).

Deadline: 14th November, 2021.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

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