Editorial: Covid-19 Responses: Insights into Contemporary Humanitarianism

Volume 53 Number 2
Published: April 26, 2022

The multifaceted nature of the Covid-19 pandemic has presented a crisis for the international humanitarian system, not only in terms of health impacts, but of socioeconomic challenges and increased inequalities. At a time when the number of people in need of assistance has drastically expanded, humanitarian funding has been cut as countries focus on their domestic economies. Moreover, pandemic responses have accelerated existing trends of eroding global refugee protection norms and regimes. International travel bans and lockdowns have impeded humanitarian access, thereby constraining conventional humanitarian response mechanisms and processes. Yet, the pandemic has given unanticipated impetus to the localisation agenda of the international humanitarian community. In the (partial) absence of state or international humanitarian responses, everyday forms of humanitarianism practised by and within local communities have been brought into sharp relief. These showcase a rich tapestry of actors, efforts, and solidarity practices that offer relief, typically at the micro level.

From Issue: Vol. 53 No. 2 (2022) | Humanitarianism and Covid-19: Structural Dilemmas, Fault Lines, and New Perspectives