Starting date: April 2020
Duration of mission: 12 months
Localisation: Pyongyang, North Korea
Première Urgence Internationale (PUI) is a non-governmental, non-profit, non-political and non-religious international aid organization. Our teams are committed to supporting victims of marginalization and exclusion, or hit by natural disasters, wars and economic collapses. Our aim is to provide emergency relief to uprooted people in order to help them recover their dignity and regain self-sufficiency.
Première Urgence Internationale implements nearly 200 projects every year, in sectors such as food security, health, nutrition, infrastructure rehabilitation, WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and livelihoods and economic recovery. PUI provides aid to approximately 7 million people in 21 countries, in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and France.
Humanitarian situation and needs:
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is one of the most isolated countries on the planet. Since its foundation in 1946, the country has been cut off the non-socialist world because of the Cold War. Towards the end of the 1980s, it then lost its main ideological partners with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the progressive disassociation of China. The constant degradation of the national economy have created a precarious situation for a large part of the population, especially in the countryside. Frequent natural disasters (drought and flood) further weaken the limited resources of the rural population. Emergency responses are often needed to prevent food shortages, repair infrastructure damages or limit epidemics. The accurate estimation of the humanitarian situation in the DPRK represents a constant challenge, but there is no doubt that the population’s needs are extremely important. According to the latest Needs and Priorities Report published by the United Nations, it is estimated that 11 million people are malnourished, representing nearly 43% of the total population. Vulnerable populations like children under 5 and pregnant and lactating women suffer from nutritional deficiencies. The available health indicators seem to show that child mortality is approximately 13.7/ 1,000, and maternal mortality is 66/100,000, which puts the DPRK far behind other countries in the region.
Since 2006, only five NGOs are authorized to work permanently in the country. Called “European Unit Program Support” (EUPS), they essentially lead programs in food security or WASH.
The funding available for the NGO’s projects are limited and often depend on the international situation.
Life conditions in Pyongyang are generally considered to be good. All the expatriates are regrouped in a specific neighborhood and constitute a close-knit and united community. It is necessary to obtain prior-authorization and to be accompanied to get out of the city, but weekend excursions are still possible. Several leisure activities are easily accessible, and everyone can regularly practice sports (tennis, squash, pool, gym, volleyball, horse-riding, golf), learn languages, or play music. Expatriates can go to some markets and supermarkets, with a correct diversity of products. Some restaurants, bars and cafés are close to the expatriates’ neighborhood.
Access to quality healthcare is nonetheless very limited, and even basic interventions often require immediate repatriation to Beijing. It is strongly discouraged to bring young children. Security rules and codes of conduct need to be strictly respected, in order to avoid any trouble or complications with the local authorities.
Our action on the field
The context of the North Korean Mission is unique, given the very specific standing of the country on the international scene, and the internal politics which frame and limit the possibilities of interventions. The needs of the population remain very important, even if they are difficult to identify precisely. The situation in North Korea could be described as a “voluntarily forgotten crisis” by the aid donors and international organizations, which are often reluctant to intervene in a country that clearly suffers from a poor image at the international level. PUI’s positioning, as the rest of the humanitarian community, consists in differentiating between the needs of the population from political considerations and the regime’s official statements. PUI remains convinced that it is possible to develop efficient aid for the most vulnerable populations of the country: our presence in the country plays a positive role on its opening and its development.
Projects focusing on development and pre-development insure that PUI has a long-term presence in the country and more particularly stable areas of intervention. Those projects are essentially designed in the health and food security sectors, but other interventions in WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), disaster prevention and protection could also be developed. In keeping with PUI’s global intervention strategy, the projects are designed to be the most integrated possible, meaning they can offer a complete response to an issue and identified needs.
However, natural disasters frequently hit the DPRK (droughts, floods) and thus prompt emergency and post-emergency interventions in order to bring immediate assistance to the victims. The funding for these interventions are often hard to secure, and one needs resourcefulness to find ways to respond to the crisis efficiently. Indeed, given the limited access to the field, especially in emergency situations, it can be difficult to efficiently monitor the implementation of humanitarian actions, which necessitates new, innovative and pragmatic approaches.
The international sanctions taken against the DPRK might further complicate the implementation of activities, especially when it comes to international procurement. The Mission has to be very reactive to the evolution of the sanctions regime, to make sure that the derogation and authorization processes are well respected. To have the means to monitor the projects throughout their implementation, to refine one’s understanding of the context, to observe the socio-economic evolutions (access to electricity, farmers markets, watchwords, etc.) and to establish a climate of trust with the local authorities, PUI has chosen to focus its activities on a same geographic area, in the South Hwanghae Province. However, there is still some flexibility to implement future actions, depending on the needs and the access possibilities in the long-term.
Since 2012, PUI focuses its food security activities on the production of food for children, with the objective of improving the diversity of their diet (dairy products, vegetables, breads, etc.). Currently, this means supporting goat breeding practices and putting in place yoghurt production workshops for children (funding by DEVCO and the AAP). However, PUI wishes to extend its activities in North Korea in the coming years, and a part of the Mission’s work is focused on looking for new funding and the design of new projects. Besides food security, the Mission also focuses on health, nutrition, WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), and disaster risk reduction.
As part of our activities in North Korea, we are looking for a Head of Mission:
The Head of Mission is responsible for the functioning and development of the mission.
- Safety & Security : S/he is responsible for the safety & security of the mission.
- Programmes: S/he coordinates the teams and ensures that the programmes implemented on the mission are properly carried out. S/he also monitor needs assessments and suggests new operations and development plans for the mission.
- Human Resources: S/he organizes work for the teams, supervises, is responsible for contracts and payrolls.
- Logistical, administrative and financial monitoring: S/he ensures that logistical and administrative practices in place 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 partners, donors and 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
To stay up to date with our new job offers, join our Facebook group My Job On the Field
Expériences / Formation
Project cycle management
Human Resource Management
Logistics and Security
5 years of humanitarian experience in project coordination.
Successful experience in expatriate team management and multi-sector programmes.
Knowledge and skills
Patience, negotiation and acute sense of diplomacy
Excellent writing skills in French and in English
Leadership skills and ability to take decisions;
Strong listening and negotiation skills, acute sense of diplomacy;
Trustworthiness, integrity and sense of responsibility;
Ability to use authority, when necessary;
Analysis and synthesis abilities (discenrment, pragmatism);
Organisational skills, ability to be thorough and respect due dates;
Good communication skills;
Ability to remain calm and level-headed;
General ability to resist stress and particularly in unstable circumstances
Fixed-Term contract – 12 months
Starting date: April 2020
Monthly gross income: from 2 640 up to 2 970 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, etc.
Insurance including medical coverage and complementary healthcare, 24/24 assistance and repatriation
Housing in 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
If you wish to apply, follow this link and fill in the form on our website