by Helen Tindall and David Bell
Humanitarianism in Southeast Asia in the Age of COVID-19
Humanitarian: “a person involved in or connected with improving people’s lives and reducing suffering”.
~ Cambridge English Dictionary.
Health: “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
~ Constitution of the World Health Organisation, 1946
Over the past 18 months the largest humanitarian agencies on earth have replaced the delivery of crucial assistance with an obsession over a single virus. This is having increasingly devastating consequences for the world’s poorest, who rely on these powerful organisations to defend their right to health and, often, material access to health or social care. Abject poverty has escalated to lethal levels. Communities are disempowered and sabotaged by an obsessive focus on COVID-19, manifested in lockdown policies and now coerced vaccination.
Global humanitarian organisations are well aware that…
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