Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief policies in the association of Southeast Asian nations
Easton, Ryan J.
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In 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Aceh, Indonesia and triggered a tsunami that traveled across the Indian Ocean. In Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Thailand suffered the most destruction. Within hours of the tsunami, a massive international relief effort began. However, there was no regional effort made by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Even though Southeast Asia sees a major portion of the world’s natural disasters, ASEAN had no mechanisms in place to lead a regional humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) effort. The question arises: How have ASEAN’s HA/DR policies changed since 2004? This thesis shows that ASEAN’s policy evolved through a three-step process from non-commitment to commitment, commitment to institutionalization, and institutionalization to deployment of assets. Case studies of ASEAN’s responses to the East Timor crisis in 1999, the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, Cyclone Nargis in 2008, and Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 illustrate the evolution of ASEAN’s HA/DR policy.
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