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Protection Cluster Presence

Active Emergencies

Conflict and violations of human rights remain the single biggest driver of protection challenges today. In 2022, 151 million people are in need of protection. This is a major increase from 113 million in 2021. It is largely driven by the worsening situation in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Myanmar and Sudan as well as chronic high levels of needs in Yemen, Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Over the world, armed conflict continues to be characterized by high levels of civilian deaths, injury, displacement, psychological trauma and sexual violence. Alongside such widespread protection risks, we also know that particular groups shoulder disproportionate burdens – children living through conflict for instance are at risk of being separated from their families, recruited into armed groups and denied an education.

National Protection Clusters active in 32 crisis affected countries describe sexual and gender-based violence as being amongst top concerns. 81 % describe the risks as severe or extreme. All operations describe psychological/emotional abuse or inflicted distress amongst the affected populations. 70% rate the risk of distress as severe or extreme.


Severity Minor Stressed Moderate Severe Extreme N/A
Attacks on civilians and other unlawful killings, attacks on civilian infrastructures 2 3 2 13 5 2
Torture or inhuman, cruel, degrading treatment 7 4 10 3 2 1
Theft, extortion, eviction or destruction of personal property 2 3 8 12 1 1
Sexual and gender-based violence 0 0 5 17 5 0
Psychological/emotional abuse or inflicted distress 0 2 6 14 5 0
Presence of mines and other explosive ordnance 5 3 8 8 2 1
Misinformation and denial of access to information 6 9 7 3 1 1
Impediments or restrictions to freedom of movement, siege and forced displacement 2 0 5 16 3 1
Impediments and/or restrictions to access to documentation, remedies and justice 2 4 9 8 3 1
Forced recruitment, including recruitment of children in armed forces and groups 4 4 9 9 0 1
Forced labour, slavery, trafficking in persons 4 10 8 3 1 1
Forced family and child separation 1 4 16 4 1 1
Discrimination and stigmatization, denial of resources, opportunities, services 2 4 12 8 0 1
Child, early or forced marriage 1 4 15 6 1 0
Abduction, kidnapping, forced disappearance, arbitrary or unlawful arrest and/or detention 3 3 5 13 2 1

Crisis Watch


The Security Council’s authorization for humanitarian aid delivery through the last remaining border crossing into North-West Syria expired on 10 July. It is uncertain whether the cross-border resolution will be renewed. The NWS Protection Cluster estimates that 22 out of the 26 (76%) protection activities currently implemented by 5 UN agencies will be discontinued in the absence of the renewal.


Devastating droughts have claimed over 18.4 million victims. The population is at the risk of experiencing multiple famines. Simultaneously, instances of armed conflict are also on the rise in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan Mozambique and Somalia. The destabilising experience of both armed conflict and food insecurity is pushing the population to the brink of desperation.


An average of 8 civilians are killed every day in attacks in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. This number alone sheds light on the scale of the security crisis in the central Sahel and the failure of counter-terrorism strategies over the past decade to halt the spiral of violence. Mass killings of civilians occurred in Mali and Burkina Faso in May and June, resulting in massive displacement of population in need of life-saving assistance and protection.


The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been the scene of one of the world’s longest-running conflicts. In the latest iteration which began in May, its army has been fighting the M23 rebel group, which is waging its most sustained offensive since a 2012- 2013 insurrection when it seized vast swathes of territory. Deadly attacks and massive displacements have been reported in North Kivu and Ituri provinces requiring a major scale up of integrated protection response.