The South Sudanese people bear the cumulative impact of years of conflict, a surge in sub-national violence, unprecedented flooding and hyperinflation, all further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. An estimated 1.7 million people are internally displaced, due to conflict, insecurity and weather shocks. An additional 2.3 million South Sudanese are refugees in neighbouring countries. The lack of durable peace and limited investment in basic services impede the country’s ability to move towards sustainable development. In the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan, over 8 million people were estimated to need humanitarian support. This represents more than two-thirds of the South Sudanese population, with this worsening humanitarian situation coming amid donor fatigue and dwindling humanitarian funding.

In support of the response, the Humanitarian Coordinator invited the P2P project to carry out a support mission in South Sudan in order to help inform and shape optimized mechanisms, strategies and operational approaches for the current and evolving context, and to identify ways to strengthen the overall humanitarian response. The Terms of Reference highlighted the following key issues: 1. Humanitarian leadership and coordination; 2. Linkage opportunities; 3. Standards and response quality, including the IASC’s four non-negotiables, as well as Grand Bargain commitments, especially as pertain to localization and participation; and 4. Potential course correctors and/or collective approaches to context constraints.

The P2P mission to South Sudan took place on 27 February-12 March 2022, with a team of eight experienced UN and NGO representatives leading a series of ten consultative workshops and multiple bilateral meetings in Juba, Bentiu, Bor, Malakal and Wau, and meeting with affected communities. The mission culminated with an HCT Retreat where the HCT agreed on an Action Plan on improving the humanitarian response, with a series of actions focused around strengthening joint analysis and joint approaches; adopting a new approach to localization; decentralizing coordination and leadership; and enhancing the focus on accountability and the protection of civilians.

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