The overall response to GBV in relation to the levels of need remains inadequate in reach, quantity and quality. The majority of women and girls, men and boys at risk for GBV in South Sudan currently do not have access to even basic life-saving GBV services. Although collectively there are services available in each sector, a multi-sector response is not available in most locations. Prevention and risk mitigation interventions are also not sufficient. Like all humanitarian sectors in the South Sudan response, GBV actors face major constraints to delivering aid and services, including: on-going insecurity, mass displacement and population movements, the shortage of skilled staff (international and national staff, females and diversity of ethnicity and language skills), over-crowding/lack of space in the displacement sites (particularly POC sites), and logistical constraints exacerbated by the onset of the rainy season. Humanitarian aid workers, including GBV service providers, are subject to attacks and harassment by state and non-state armed actors and authorities.
Facilities \where survivors receive services, including hospitals and health clinic maternity and children’s wards, have been the sites
of killings, attacks and looted by armed actors. The current humanitarian response is also driven largely based on logistic constraints and demands. Space in PoCs and other areas to provide GBV services and to store commodities is at a premium,
sometimes requiring lengthy negotiations with UNMISS and relevant authorities to be able to deliver. Other sectors of humanitarian response (primarily food and WASH) are prioritized for emergency logistics and response, particularly in new areas of displacement, and are not always coordinated or integrated with protection activities, including GBV. Given the direct life-saving nature of health, security and PSS GBV interventions, they should be part of a first-response package of humanitarian services.
Although the GBV-IMS system is functioning in some parts of the country, the number of contributing actors is low. There is no national system for collection of GBV data and health actors do not have a standardized system for collection of GBV data
Health Management Information System (HMIS)). Yet, the demand for GBV data from all sectors and actors is high, often based on misunderstandings about the interpretation and usage of GBV related data as prevalence data. GBV is under-reported due
to barriers survivors and families face such as risks of physical violence, stigma, blame, discrimination, perpetrator impunity and lack of knowledge of health consequences and access to services. Under-reporting is also linked specifically to the lack of access to adequate legal/justice systems to hold perpetrators accountable, and the ways in which the legal system discriminates and could contribute to harms to the survivor (i.e. arresting survivors who report GBV). Protection (including GBV interventions) has historically been under-funded compared to other sectors in South Sudan. Post crisis, there is still limited funding in the face of the great protection (including GBV) response needs. The funding that is supplied often comes in short spurts (i.e. 3–6
month periods for projects), which is not conducive to sustainability or quality responses, and encourages GBV activities to focus on POC and other highly structured displacement sites, which is not where the majority of the population in need are located. Short term funding also affects the ability of GBV actors to engage in some types of prevention activities, such as behavioral change programming which may not be the priority in immediate emergency response, but may be necessary in this context where the humanitarian crisis and displacement patterns are protracted.
In summary, the magnitude of challenges GBV actors face in delivering quality GBV services requires a common understanding of the objectives, principles and priorities outlined below.