GPC Operations Cell: gpc[at]unhcr.org
Gender-Based Violence: chase[at]unfpa.org
Child Protection: rpouwels[at]unicef.org
Housing, Land and Property: jim.robinson[at]nrc.no
Mine Action: unmasgeneva[at]un.org
South Sudan witnessed a fleeting period of peace after the signing of the Revitalised Peace Agreement in 2018. But recent intercommunal conflicts coupled with climatic shocks, such as unprecedented flooding, and economic shrinkages resulting from COVID-19 have reversed many of the advancements made and newly adds to the number of protection risks experienced by people. Opposition groups proliferate in the country with indignant violations of ceasefire agreements and undermine efforts to address food security, displacement, vulnerability due to climate change, lack of services and violence.
South Sudan has an agropastoral economy—the weak national infrastructure, governance and systems to cope with natural hazards is therefore striking at the root of people’s subsistence. It has triggered a cycle of displacement, with many unable to return home and those who are left behind, are landlocked without adequate access to humanitarian and protection services.
Different parties to the conflict in South Sudan have often attempted to reach peaceful agreements. But these efforts have been short-lived—unravelled by intercommunal violence and attacks among ethnic groups. Daily inter-tribal violence over raiding of cattle, burning villages and shelters, kidnapping children for forced recruitment or girls for early marriages, are often coopted and mobilised by military and political groups, exacerbating political conflict and posing threats to civilian wellbeing. Most of the population can be categorized as poor, and with humanitarian access seriously compromised, they are left to fend for themselves in hostile environments. Women and girls are particularly at risk in the country.
The Protection Cluster in South Sudan was activated in XXX to ensure the coordination of protection interventions in emergencies and to respond to the protection needs of persons affected by conflict and disasters. It is composed of the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Area of Responsibility (AoR), the Child Protection (CP) Area of Responsibility (AoR), the Mine Action (MA) Area of Responsibility (AoR) and a Housing, Land, and Property Area of Responsibility (HLP AoR). The Protection Cluster is led by the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and co-coordinated by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).