The COVID-19 pandemic poses enormous challenges for countries and communities across the globe. But what happens when a disaster strikes during the pandemic, at a time when significant resources and attention are focussed on the COVID-19 response?
The Asia-Pacific is the most disaster-prone region in the world and has already experienced significant impacts from natural hazards in 2020.
In early April, less than one month after WHO declared the pandemic, Tropical Cyclone Harold struck the Pacific Island nations of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga. The cyclone affected over 159,000 people in Vanuatu and 180,000 people in Fiji, resulting in injury, loss of life, damage to property including homes, schools and health facilities, and significant destruction of agricultural crops and livestock.
One month later Typhoon Vongfong hit the Philippines displacing over 140,000 people, and Tropical Cyclone Amphan struck Eastern India and Bangladesh, affecting over 70 million people, damaging homes, infrastructure, farm-land and fisheries, and causing over US$13 billion of damage.
The first half of 2020 has also seen flooding, landslides, locust infestations, drought and volcanic activity affect the region.
Join us as we explore the complexities for authorities and communities in responding to overlapping crises, including:
- how organisations are aligning disaster preparedness and COVID-19 response plans,
- the changing role of international, national and local humanitarian actors in disaster response during COVID-19, and
- how to better protect vulnerable and marginalised groups from the impacts of a ‘double disaster’.
This is the third online forum of the No Safe Space: Crisis response in COVID-19 four-part series co-presented by the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership, Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and Humanitarian Advisory Group (HAG).
Watch the full recording of ‘COVID-19 and Localisation: Shifting the power, or shifting the risk?’, held on 21 May 2020.
Watch the full recording of ‘COVID-19 and Health: Is flattening the curve costing lives?’, held on 18 June 2020.