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Localising the humanitarian toolkit: lessons from recent Philippines disasters

chapter
posted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Rebecca Barber
Over the past decade, the political and legal landscape for managing disaster risk in Asia has undergone significant shifts. Almost all Asian countries have legal and institutional frameworks for managing disasters, regional bodies have assumed an increasingly prominent role, and national governments are asserting their capacity to manage their own disasters. But increased national capacities have not always kept pace with increased disaster risk, and international actors still have an important—albeit complementary—role to play. This shift in dynamics poses challenges for the international humanitarian system, which for the most part has been set up on the assumption that international actors will take the lead.

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. The action that has been taken by the Philippines Government to manage disasters has been commended for enabling the provision of well-coordinated, government-led humanitarian assistance; and thus provides a valuable example for other governments in the region. At the same time, it raises questions regarding the capacity of government-led systems to coordinate humanitarian response, targeting vulnerable groups and ensuring alignment with humanitarian principles, in the context not only of increasing disaster risk but also of ongoing internal conflict.

This chapter examines the response of national, regional and international actors to recent Philippines disasters, and questions whether the humanitarian response system is equipped to respond to increasing disaster risk. It provides recommendations to national, regional and international actors with a view to ensuring that when a disaster does occur, aid is provided where it is needed, when it is needed, to those who need it most. While the analysis and recommendations focus on the Philippines as a case study, the issues discussed are broadly applicable throughout the Southeast Asian region.

History

Title of book

Natural disaster management in the Asia-Pacific

Series

Disaster risk reduction

Chapter number

2

Pagination

17 - 31

Publisher

Springer

Place of publication

Tokyo, Japan

ISBN-13

978-4-431-55156-0

Language

eng

Publication classification

B1.1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2015, Springer Japan

Extent

12

Editor/Contributor(s)

C Brassard, D Giles, A Howitt

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