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Global Protection Cluster: The centrality of protection in humanitarian action review 2020

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The 2020 Review by the Global Protection Cluster (GPC) of the Centrality of Protection in Humanitarian Action comes at a time when the world is still grappling with the full-blown effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dubbed a crisis within a crisis in humanitarian contexts, the impact of the pandemic deepened existing vulnerabilities and inequalities. Protection deteriorated in ongoing crises across the globe in a year in which we saw, yet again, the highest figure on record of persons internally displaced as a result of conflict, violence, disasters and the adverse effects of climate change.

The review provides a general analysis of how the centrality of protection was implemented across the board in operations with a Protection Cluster in 2020, with some updated information and examples from 2021. The developments are analysed from the perspective of the Protection Cluster and the review reflects on persistent challenges in implementation, some of the reasons provided for these constraints, and efforts that are being undertaken to address them. The review also examines how core elements are being applied in implementing the centrality of protection. The elements were introduced in the 2019 GPC review to facilitate the operationalisation of the centrality of protection and the current review provides an initial baseline of their implementation at country level.

Protection has been perpetually underfunded and lack of resources is often cited as one of the main obstacles hampering the implementation of the centrality of protection. The review consequently reflects on the status of protection financing, emerging trends and cost-effective approaches. Even though significant gaps remain, 2021 is seeing a positive trend in protection funding.