Paper: Humanitarian Action in the Asia-Pacific during COVID-19: New Challenges, Modalities, and Cooperation Models

Paper details

Paper authors Christopher Chen
In panel on COVID-19 beyond Health Insecurity
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


As the world began to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat of natural hazards still loomed large. While the pandemic response remains dominant, states and societies also need to be prepared for concurrent risks and hazards. If unaccounted for, the overlapping effects of a pandemic and a natural hazard for example can compound socio-economic vulnerabilities in countries. This article assesses the effects of concurrent risk events, and how they impact states and societies in the Asia-Pacific. With overseas travel and supply chain restrictions severely hampering the movement of relief items and international humanitarian workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to empower and strengthen local humanitarian actors became acute. This article further critically examines the role of new technologies in adapting the sector in terms of remote management, empowering local staff, providing an alternative to in-kind assistance, and localising global supply chains. The underappreciated activities and mandates of regional organisations and initiatives in the sub-regions of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands facilitated localisation efforts and illustrate the importance of the regional level in multilevel approaches to disaster governance.



Christopher Chen
Alistair Cook