Disaster Management

China response team in Haiti 

Beyond Borders: China’s NGOs Respond to World’s Natural Disasters

October 26, 2016


This week, over 30 representatives from leading Chinese foundations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are gathered in Beijing for an intensive workshop delivered by experts from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on the international humanitarian system. The session is aimed at crafting a better un… Read more

A year and a half after a series of major earthquakes struck Nepal, causing widespread devastation and killing nearly 9,000 people, the pace of reconstruction remains painfully slow. Above, temporary shelter set up after the earthquakes. 

4 Things to Know About Post-Earthquake Aid and Recovery in Nepal

October 5, 2016


A year and a half after a series of major earthquakes struck Nepal, causing widespread devastation and killing nearly 9,000 people, the pace of reconstruction remains painfully slow. One month ago, the prime minister announced an additional $1,000 in relief per household, which would raise the total resources available to each affected household to… Read more

Alibaba HQ 

Inaugural XIN Philanthropy Conference an Inspiration

July 13, 2016


Jack Ma and the Alibaba Foundation – the charitable arm of Alibaba Group – hosted a first-of-its-kind philanthropy conference in Hangzhou, China, this past week: the Xin Philanthropy Conference. Their goal? To establish credibility as major advocates for the deeper development of a culture of private philanthropy in China. Alibaba hosted the first-… Read more

Reconstruction of a house in Nele VDC. Most of the earthquake-affected districts lie in the hilly and mountain regions with very poor to no road networks. 

Tracking Conditions on the Ground in Post-Earthquake Nepal

June 1, 2016


The impacts of the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal in April and May of 2015 are still being felt by thousands of families in affected districts. It has been, and will continue to be, a significant challenge for Nepal to fully recover. In order to plan and implement effective responses, up-to-date and accurate information from the field wi… Read more

On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal, followed by an even more devastating quake two weeks later resulting in almost 9,000 deaths, 8 million people affected, and vast swaths of the nation in rubble including the capital, Kathmandu. Photo/Tenzing Paljor 

One Year After Nepal Earthquake, a Nation Still Struggling to Recover

April 20, 2016


On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal, followed by an even more devastating quake two weeks later resulting in almost 9,000 deaths, 8 million people affected, and vast swaths of the nation in rubble including the capital, Kathmandu. Now one year on, hundreds of aftershocks are still ongoing and the nation is still struggling to recover. On… Read more

Aftermath of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015. The Asia Foundation and its sister organization Give2Asia are working to provide emergency relief and a comprehensive assessment of needs. 

Aid and Recovery in Post-Earthquake Nepal

October 28, 2015


On Monday, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit South Asia, its epicenter in northeastern Afghanistan, devastating many areas, killing hundreds and injuring thousands. Just six months ago, on April 25, in similarly difficult and remote terrain, a 7.8-magnitude quake struck Nepal.


U.S.-China Cooperation on Disaster Management Training

September 23, 2015


Two-man search teams enter a darkened classroom to look for survivors. They work in pairs, systematically exploring the jumble of overturned desks and chairs. In a corner of the room, Dominic Marzano and Wilson Lee are watching closely.

Conor Ashleigh Nepal 2013 

Nepal: The Quake and the Constitution

June 24, 2015


Two months have passed since Nepal was rocked by a series of devastating earthquakes. The tremors continue, but it appears that the earth is finally settling and some respite may be had – for a short while at least, until the monsoon rains bring their annual havoc of landslides and floods, which are certain to be far worse this year…


Chinese Foundations and NGOs Cross Border to Aid Nepal

June 10, 2015


On April 25, moments after I heard the news that a powerful earthquake had struck Nepal, colleagues from several NGOs in China, including the One Foundation and Save the Children, contacted me to discuss how to respond to this disaster next door. Using the WeChat app, our group expanded quickly. A dozen Chinese and international organizations active in disaster management in China joined the discussion.


Quake That Shook the Earth Now Shaking Nepal’s Social Fabric

May 13, 2015


Another powerful earthquake struck Nepal on Tuesday, collapsing hillsides and already-damaged buildings and sending panicked citizens once again running into the streets. The 7.3 magnitude quake was followed by several aftershocks, including one of magnitude 5.6 and another of 6.3. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake of April 25 had already left much of Nepal completely devastated. On May 4, the government reported that 7,365 people had died and 14,355 people had been injured.


In Nepal’s Far-Flung Villages, the Suffering Continues

May 6, 2015


In the remote village of Shyam Sathu in the hills of Sindhupalchok, I came upon a solitary young man in his mid-twenties – I’ll call him Arun – wrapped in a humble white garment, head shaven, and barefoot, staring into oblivion towards the high Himalayas. The village folk told me that his wife and two children had died in the earthquake. He was lost, alone, and devastated – overwhelmed by impermanence.


In Quake’s Wake, the Price of Political Disarray

April 29, 2015


The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday morning, April 25, and the 6.5 aftershock the following day, left frightened residents here in Kathmandu huddled in the rain in streets blocked with rubble and shaken by powerful tremors that made those structures still standing too dangerous to enter. Deaths are now estimated at over 5,500, a number that will continue to climb as emergency workers dig through collapsed buildings and push into the most affected districts of Dhading, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, and Sindhupalchok.


Editor’s Picks: 2014 Must Reads

December 23, 2014


Season’s Greetings! On behalf of In Asia’s editorial board and bloggers, we thank you for your engagement and continued readership throughout the year. We’ll be taking a short break, but will return on January 7. In the meantime, catch up on our must-read pieces and highlights on the most pressing events and issues in Asia throughout 2014.


One Year After Typhoon Haiyan, Hard-Hit Eastern Visayas Still Fragile

November 5, 2014


Standing at the beach of MacArthur Park just south of Tacloban city in Eastern Visayas, the Pacific Ocean looks playful and gentle – a sharp contrast from a year ago when Super Typhoon Haiyan, “Yolanda” in the Philippines, pounded the region, leaving more than 6,300 dead…


One Year After Bohol Earthquake, Partnerships Thrive Amid Rehabilitation Efforts

October 15, 2014


One year ago today, an earthquake reported to have the energy equivalent of 32 Hiroshima bombs struck Bohol and nearby provinces in south central Philippines. Generated from a fault in the northwestern sector of Bohol Island, the earthquake registered 7.2 on the Richter scale…


Financing the Costs of Climate Change in Disaster-Prone Asian Nations

September 17, 2014


Disaster insurance has quickly risen up the global policy agenda in the last few years, where phrases like “loss and damage mechanisms” and “micro-insurance schemes” are catching fire in climate change discussions about how to finance the costs…


Emerging Chinese Foundations Expand Role in Disaster Management

September 17, 2014


Last month, the One Foundation, one of China’s most visible charitable organizations, presented a new strategy to government officials and national researchers that marks a major shift in the approach to disaster mitigation in the country.


Engaging Asia’s Private Sector in Disaster Risk Management

September 17, 2014


Heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan and India since early September have resulted in some of the worst flooding in decades, requiring immediate relief response, as hundreds of people have already lost their lives and millions more are affected.


A Conversation with Chinese Fellow, Environmental NGO Leader Lican Liu

September 17, 2014


In Asia editor Alma Freeman recently interviewed co-founder and Director of Programs and Communications at the Greenovation Hub, a grassroots NGO that focuses on environmental protection and innovation in China.


Providing Children’s Books to A Stable but Fragile Tacloban

July 23, 2014


Last week, Typhoon Rammasun (Glenda in the Philippines) swept through the Philippines, killing nearly 100 people and continued on its deadly path battering China and northern Vietnam. Just 24 hours after Glenda hit the Philippines, I visited Tacloban…


Obama’s Trip to the Philippines: A Touchy Last Stop

April 30, 2014


The last stop of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to four Asian countries this week is perhaps the most controversial. His visit comes at a time of heightened tensions between the Philippines and China, which in recent months have demonstrated their commitment to defend their competing claims…


Survey Reveals Haiyan’s Impact on Filipino Households

April 9, 2014


Marilyn Ecap, a 42-year-old street typist, is a permanent fixture at the main gate of the former Divine Word University campus in Tacloban City. For 12 years she has made a living typing documents for a fee, disrupted only when Super Typhoon Yolanda…


Transboundary Pollution in Northern Thailand Causes Dangerous Levels of Smog

March 26, 2014


Pollution kills roughly seven million people worldwide each year, with air pollution the cause of one in eight deaths, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization released on Tuesday. Asia faces the greatest burden where the majority of the deaths occur.


Study Finds Asian Mega Dams Are Not Cost-Efficient Form of Energy

March 19, 2014


The International Energy Agency states that between 2010 and 2035, increased and new demand for electricity will require worldwide power generation to rise from 5.2 terawatts to 9.3 terawatts, roughly equal to adding four times the electricity that the United States currently generates. In emerging economies…


Asia Foundation’s 18 Country Reps Convene in D.C. to Discuss Asia’s Critical Issues

March 12, 2014


This year, The Asia Foundation is commemorating its 60th anniversary. Drawing on the expertise of local partners and our own development experts in the 18 countries where we work, we’re initiating a year-long, global conversation on six critical issues facing Asia.


Survey of Victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan Defies Preconceptions

February 5, 2014


It is perhaps unusual for survey research to provoke demonstrations denouncing the results, but that is precisely what happened last month when Social Weather Stations issued a survey release showing that victims of Typhoon Haiyan, “Yolanda” in the Philippines…


Philippines to the World: Thanks for Haiyan Help

January 29, 2014


Super Typhoon Haiyan, “Yolanda” in the Philippines, drew intense international media attention, including a controversial visit by CNN’s Anderson Cooper. The international community responded with generous assistance amounting to (including current pledges) almost a billion dollars.


Two Months After Yolanda: Lessons from the Bunkhouse Controversy

January 15, 2014


The recent controversy about temporary shelters – or bunkhouses – for victims in Yolanda-hit areas offers some lessons not only in emergency response but also in reconstruction efforts. These are not new lessons…


Philippines 2014: The Best of Times or the Worst of Times?

January 8, 2014


January, named after the two-faced Roman god Janus, is a time that invites us to look back and look ahead. Here in the Philippines, excitable headlines make it hard to discern if 2013 was the worst of times, or the best of times – but either way, Filipinos seem to be looking forward to 2014 with optimism.


China’s NGOs Essential to Disaster Preparedness

January 8, 2014


According to latest Ministry of Civil Affairs estimates, natural disasters in China last year killed 1,851 people, left 433 missing, and affected some 390 million people across the country. Indeed, China is one of the most vulnerable countries to natural disasters – on May 12, 2008, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake hit Wenchuan City…


Disaster Response Put to the Test: Lessons from Typhoon Yolanda

December 18, 2013


More than one month after typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), known as the world’s biggest typhoon, struck the Philippines, authorities now estimate that over 14 million people have been affected, including four million displaced. The estimated death toll is at 6,069. The government is now on the hard road to recovery and reconstruction, allocating…


The Yolanda Tragedy: 7 Lessons in Early Emergency Response

November 20, 2013


Last month, when the 7.2 earthquake struck the Philippine provinces of Cebu and Bohol, I was in the southern city of Zamboanga facilitating dialogues between Muslim and Christian leaders to alleviate possible religious tension following the September siege that displaced thousands and threatened the good relationship of the city’s two faith communities. It was the furthest thing from my mind that an even more devastating disaster would happen just a month later, right in Tacloban City, where I had left my wife and kids in safety (or so I thought) and in the province of Eastern Samar where I grew up playing in the gentle edges of the mighty Pacific Ocean.


Despite Double Disasters, Bohol’s Local Response Strong

November 20, 2013


Less than one month after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake destroyed areas of Bohol province in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines, Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), said to be one of the most powerful storms ever to hit land…


In China, Lessons in Disaster Management Lead to Regional Cooperation

July 24, 2013


The meeting room in the Guangzhou Academy of Governance is packed with 20 government officials. These officials are in charge of emergency management in Guangzhou, a city of over 12 million located in the Pearl River Delta of southern China. The situation in the room is tense. The officials have just learned that unexpected heavy rain fall…