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Double impact of COVID 19 and TC Harold: Demonstrating increased leadership of local actors in the Pacific.

Presentation Description

In April 2020 as COVID-19 began to take hold across our region and globally the Red Cross Movement in the Pacific responded to Tropical Cyclone Harold in Fiji and Vanuatu. This dual response challenged traditional modes of aid delivery and tested the capacity for locally led humanitarian response in the Pacific. Local Red Cross societies responded in a context of reduced international support and navigated changing governmental and social structures that were themselves adapting to a complex crisis involving health, disaster, and economic impacts. The Australian Red Cross case study, Local response in a global pandemic, explores how Red Cross leadership, staff and community volunteers responded to this sudden onset disaster during a pandemic, and the changed roles that were played by international partners. It also considers the success and challenges of the response, the operational and strategic implications of responding to both a health crisis as well as a cyclone, changing gender-based response roles, and the ways in which humanitarian and development policy and financing were able to adapt to support locally-led response.

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