Médecins Sans Frontières en Suisse

Yemen remains one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. The country’s ninth-year conflict exacerbated economic decline, infrastructure deterioration, and increased diseases. In 2023, an estimated 21.6 million people needed humanitarian assistance. Over 4 million people are internally displaced and 3 million were forced to flee the country. Limited access to clean water and sanitation leads to water-borne disease outbreaks, while disrupted healthcare leaves millions without essential services. Aid delivery is hindered by insecurity and restrictions imposed by warring parties. A truce in April 2022 led to sporadic fighting, with a relative peace continuing into most of 2023. As of October 2023, however, the conflict in Gaza is impacting the political landscape in the entire Middle East with a specific concern in Yemen. There are currently high tensions in the Red Sea and in the Gulf of Aden, and the expectation for the short-period in a sustained escalation of tensions in the whole country.

Duty Station

Yemen, Sana’a but not limited to. Regular projects in Ibb and Hodeida Governorates and multiple sites of emergency response interventions in the North.

Operations volume

In Ibb Governorate, the project revolves around surgical activities and support in Al-Qaeda General Hospital together with support to 3 remote PHCs. In Hodeida Governorate, the project focuses on ER pediatrics with a strong malnutrition care component (surge capacity up to 130 beds together with the nearby Al-Zaydya Hospital) and support to 3 PHCs. The Mobile Emergency Team (MET), initiated in 2021, strategically pre-positions for access and direct emergency response, particularly along the eastern frontline, with recent significant measles vaccination operations in Rad and Al Bayda and a current diphtheria intervention in Dhamar. Anticipating multiple outbreaks and a potential nutritional crisis in 2024, a small support office opened in Aden in early 2023.

Key Responsibilities of a Head of Mission (HoM):

  • Operational Strategy: Initiate and lead mission-wide operational strategies, including policy, annual plan, budget, and frameworks. Translate strategic objectives into operational activities.
  • Situation Monitoring: Monitor and analyze political, humanitarian, and medical situations in the country and region. Identify intervention fields and determine response strategies.
  • Representation: Represent MSF to external actors, negotiating terms for field operations and creating commitment. Integrate internal and external communication policies for advocacy.
  • Medical-Humanitarian Activities: Lead the implementation of medical-humanitarian activities, coordinating with other MSF sections for short- and long-term strategies.
  • Evaluation and Reporting: Evaluate progress and outcomes, reporting to headquarters. Produce planning and program performance reports in line with HQ cycles.
  • Resource Management: Plan and coordinate human, material, and financial resources to ensure overall mission performance. The HoM directly supervises 14 staff, mainly coordinators and high level positions.
  • Leadership: Lead the mission and staff, providing a clear vision, and ensuring staff are aware of mission strategies and ambitions.
  • Staff Development: Manage, coach, and develop direct reports in line with human resource policies. Implement HR policies for responsible employment and reduction of risks.
  • Information Flow: Ensure internal and external information flow, briefing all MSF staff to reflect associative character. Keep staff and HQ informed of context and security issues.
  • Security Oversight: Be responsible for all security aspects, defining and implementing the security framework. Ensure safety of staff and visitors, promoting pro-active information sharing and collaboration in line with ISA.

Yemen Head of Mission specific accountabilities:

  • Collaborate with the Sanaa coordination team to develop and supervise MSF medops strategy in Yemen.
  • Support project progress and challenges through effective communication with Project Coordinators and teams.
  • Renew a sustainable network with authorities in Sanaa and Aden, emphasizing daily operations and security.
  • Provide guidance and support visits to the HoM Support in Aden, ensuring smooth collaboration with authorities.
  • Monitor country’s context and security through various contacts and coordinate closely with Deputy HOM, HOM Advisor, HOM Support , and Project Coordinators (PCs).
  • Stay informed about national, regional, and international contexts, focusing on operational areas and emergency support ambitions.
  • Represent MSF in meetings with humanitarian and diplomatic partners in Yemen.
  • Contribute to intersectional advocacy and communication with other sections’ HOMs, emphasizing harmonization and collaboration.
  • Update security documents, brief expatriates on risks, and ensure good communication with authorities.
  • Draft and sign agreements and MOUs at national and governorate levels for all projects and activities.
  • Work with coordination to establish the mission’s vision, milestones, and response readiness.
  • Evaluate possibilities for expansion in areas of intervention and other governorates.
  • Supervise weekly coordination meetings, sitreps, communication, incident management, and activity reports.
  • Maintain cooperation with the Middle East Support Office (MESO) in Amman, focusing on IHL trainings and support.
  • During HOM’s absence, DHOM or Amman Head of Office or Desk Ops (Programme Responsible / Deputy Programme Responsible) assumes responsibilities with support from HOM Advisor, sharing tasks based on priorities.

How to apply

Your Profile


  • 8-10 years humanitarian experience with MSF or other international humanitarian organisations of reputable standing and working in similar contexts, including at least 24 months of field experience with MSF in a coordination role (12 months in a HOM role) and at least 1 mission in an emergency context with MSF.
  • Expertise in analysis of unstable contexts / crises situations.
  • Capacity to quickly evaluate an emergency on ground and to propose an appropriate strategy of intervention.
  • Proven management skills with emphasis on team-leadership/human resources.
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary team.
  • Knowledge of and experience in security management in insecure contexts.
  • Commitment to the aims and values of MSF.
  • Flexible and solution-oriented mentality and ability to be decisive in chaotic circumstances.
  • Proven skills in negotiation, diplomacy and decision-making.
  • Proven capacity for coordination and organization.
  • Ability to prioritize work, manage teams and clearly communicate decisions.
  • Capacity to work in a volatile, insecure context and deal with stress.
  • Fluency in English is essential; Arabic working knowledge is an asset.


  • Relevant academic background (medical/paramedical, humanitarian, development, political science, international relations) or comparable working experience,
  • Experience in Public Health programs.
  • Relevant trainings (PSP, Populations in Precarious Situations; negotiation, advocacy).

Terms of Employment

In line with standard MSF international mobile staff package.

We encourage applications from people of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, backgrounds, religions, beliefs, abilities, and all other characteristics of diversity.
MSF does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment.

All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo reference and criminal record checks.

How to apply

Interested candidates should complete their application in English (5MB max) by following the link below.


Please include:

  • CV 2 pages max
  • Letter of motivation 1p. max

The deadline for applications is 22.02.2024 at 5pm.

The applications will be treated confidentially.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

For more details on MSF and job opportunities, please visit our website: www.msf.ch

Deadline: 22 Feb 2024

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