Global Protection Cluster

Covid-19 and Protection
The Issue

The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating protection concerns in humanitarian crises and exposing vulnerable populations to new threats. Protection clusters reported an increase in cases of violence, forced displacement, a rise in xenophobia and stigmatization, alongside discrimination in access to health, food, water, education and legal services for vulnerable and marginalized groups – disproportionally affecting people who were already vulnerable due to their gender, age, disability, ethnicity, displacement status, or belonging to marginalised or discriminated groups. In the face of the largest economic shock the world has experienced in decades, some of the most vulnerable communities were forced to resort to adverse survival strategies, with limited safe alternatives.

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The Approach 

Pandemics – like COVID-19 – create a global health and human rights crisis that require a collective humanitarian response with protection at the centre. This requires a continuous analysis of the risks people face, and the commitment of all humanitarian actors to address those risks. It also implies incorporating protection principles and promoting meaningful access, safety and dignity into the humanitarian response. 

The Global Protection Cluster (GPC) and its field operations work closely with partners and governments to ensure the inclusion of those in need of protection as a result of conflict, disasters and climate change in national and local pandemic preparedness, prevention and response activities.