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Exploring the Challenges and Future Development of Humanitarian Logistics in China: SARS, H1N1, and COVID


  • Sha Yicong

    (Wenzhou-Kean University)


China has been the country that was affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, and it has been receiving continuous humanitarian assistance from other countries and global organizations before the situation improved. At the same time, other provinces in China are sending relief supplies to medium-risk and highly infected areas such as Hubei province. However, despite a large number of donations and relief supplies being sent to Hubei province, many cities in the province still lack the necessary medical supplies between February and March 2020. The problems of the Wuhan Red Cross in the COVID-19 epidemic are the epitome of the challenges faced by humanitarian logistics throughout China. The Red Cross Society of China cannot make decisions on its own. It cannot perform its duties efficiently, which makes its credibility in front of the people continue to decrease. Due to the increasing frequency of natural disasters and human-made disasters, humanitarian supply chain management (HSCM) has become an essential scientific research subject. Because of the diversity of disasters and the difference in disaster resilience in affected areas, humanitarian logistics is not easy and has considerable complexity. A comprehensive study of the challenges of different phases of disaster relief is needed. This paper reveals the main problems and causes of Chinese humanitarian logistics' supply chain management by evaluating the situations during the SARS, H1N1, and COVID-19 outbreak and comparing the similarities and differences. Many other challenges have been discussed throughout the literature. By examining these issues, the paper puts forward suggestions to improve and promote the development of China's humanitarian logistics to better adapt to national conditions. This study is of great value for Chinese humanitarian organizations to recognize and understand their environment and challenges. At the same time, it can help government and humanitarian organizations understand the relevant knowledge and training methods of humanitarian logistics, to cultivate more available resources in the industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Sha Yicong, 2020. "Exploring the Challenges and Future Development of Humanitarian Logistics in China: SARS, H1N1, and COVID," MIC 2020: The 20th Management International Conference,, University of Primorska Press.
  • Handle: RePEc:prp:micp20:219-233

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. L N Van Wassenhove, 2006. "Humanitarian aid logistics: supply chain management in high gear," Journal of the Operational Research Society, Palgrave Macmillan;The OR Society, vol. 57(5), pages 475-489, May.
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