Protection Cluster SSD - Year in review 2022

Conflict coupled with climatic shocks such as the flooding in Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile states as well as the economic shocks resulting from the global Covid-19 pandemic have impacted the protection environment and humanitarian situation in South Sudan.

Recent crises, including flooding in Bentiu and multiple conflicts in a number of States including; Warrap; Upper Nile; Unity; Jonglei State (and Greater Pibor Administrative Area), raised concerning reports of serious human rights violations committed against civilian populations, including unlawful killings, attacks on civilians, gender and conflict-related sexual violence, destruction and limited access to basic services, forced evictions, forced displacement, Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) contamination, deaths of humanitarian workers as well as the destruction and looting of humanitarian and civilian infrastructure.

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) continue to experience new and secondary displacement, while thousands are in protracted displacement, unable to find a durable solution raising the total number of internally displaced in the country to over 2.2 million. Displacement has undermined people’s resilience and ability to cope, because of loss of assets, livelihoods, homes, properties, family members and communal networks.

Many barriers to durable solutions exist, including the ongoing conflict in several areas, extensive destruction of property and weak rule of law. In addition, structural gender inequality persists notably due to legal and societal factors. Women are particularly disadvantaged and face unique risks, even more so when compounded with other factors, such as displacement or heading a household. Overall humanitarian needs have increased over the past year, aggravating the protection situation, and particularly impacting the most vulnerable, resulting in an overall 16 per cent increase in the estimated number of people in need in 2023.These repeated shocks have weakened community-based structures and services and underline the importance of the State’s responsibility to protect its citizens and the international community’s commitment to support people in need in South Sudan.