Conference: Asia and Africa in Transition

Panel: From recipients to donors: New engagement of Asian countries in humanitarian aid in Africa

Conveners: Stig Jensen, Centre for African Studies, University of Copenhagen and Shiling Xu, International Academy of Red Cross & Red Crescent, Soochow University. 

This Session focus on “new” Asia donor countries. The emerging of new state and non-state actors across Asia and Africa in humanitarian aid has stimulated extensive discussion over the last decade. These traditional important humanitarian recipients like China, Japan, India and Korea, are in transition from a recipient to a donor. They mostly denote in-kind relief materials (food, medicines) and personnel (medical team and relief team). The humanitarian involvement of these donors derives from a very complex array of national interests, paths and experiences, which creates different modes of humanitarian aid as visible “non-traditional” actors. However, empirical research about non-traditional actors remains scarce; most of the literature focuses on DAC donors and practitioners. This panel invites contributors to share their case studies and research findings on Asia’s engagement in Africa on humanitarian aid. Most specifically, it asks: what would explain these new actors’ motivation to go to Africa to deal with emergencies and crises? What are the challenges they have met during their humanitarian activities? Will these new actors contribute to change in understanding humanitarianism?

Panel programme

Monday 28 June, 15:45-18:00 (Copenhagen time/CEST), room 27.0.17
Hybrid format

Time Title Presenter

Word of Welcome 

Stig Jensen, Associate Professor of Centre of African Studies

Chinese Statecraft in Humanitarian Aid: A Global Responder in the Making

Xuefei Shi, Postdoctoral Researcher, Chr. Michelsen Institute

Respondent 1: Yingjie Zhao
Respondent 2: Shiling Xu 


Chinese NGOs: an emerging new player in Humanitarian aid in Africa —A case of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation

Yingjie Zhao, PhD Fellow, CAS, University of Copenhagen

Respondent 1: Xuefei Shi
Respondent 2: Shiling Xu 

16:45-16:55 Break

The UAE humanitarian action in Africa 

William Guéraiche, Associate Professor, the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) 

Respondent 1: Young Su Park 
Respondent 2: Stig Eduard Breitenstein Jensen


The Mobilization Clinic: The Governmentality of the Korean Developmental State in Global Health Projects in Ethiopia 

Young Su Park, Research Fellow, University College London 

Respondent 1: William Guéraiche 
Respondent 2: Stig Eduard Breitenstein Jensen


Q&A and Summary by Shiling Xu, lecturer in the International Academy of Red Cross & Red Crescent at Soochow University