Understanding the pandemic’s interconnected concerns in Southeast Asia, contributing to a more resilient world

Understanding the pandemic’s interconnected concerns in Southeast Asia, contributing to a more resilient world

The pandemic raised questions about how people function as a society and what needs to be valued as individuals and communities. In the Vatican, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development called for regional contributions to deepen its understanding of COVID-19 impacts especially in the areas of economy, ecology, and health.

Before the creation of the Vatican COVID-19 Commission in February 2020, Pope Francis said: “I am thinking of what comes after; of the future and of the social and economic consequences. The future has a memory. I ask you to prepare the future in two ways; with science and imagination to rise above the challenge in front of us.”

Responding to the Vatican’s call, the Southeast Asia Task Force of the Vatican COVID-19 Commission was formed in 2021 with practitioners from the public health, church, and environment sectors from six Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam). A series of country listening sessions led to the development of a regional paper on understanding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Southeast Asia, Caring for Lives and Livelihood: Strengthening the Social and Ecological Safety Nets. Over 80 people who live and work with marginalized and vulnerable people contributed to reflecting on lessons learned from the pandemic as people sought to cultivate a more resilient world.

Going a Different Way by Caring for the Good of All in Our Common Home is the summary report of the regional workshop in October 2022 with the following regional synthesis of perspectives from the fringes of Asian societies:

  1. common concerns amongst the marginalized and vulnerable
  2. common good practices
  3. key lessons from Southeast Asia
  4. ways to form a new norm

This summary report is the culmination of the year-long listening process across the six Southeast Asian countries on the pandemic and interconnected concerns to contribute to new ways in forming a more resilient world for all and in reinforcing the Church’s role towards integral human development.

Related stories:

Caring for lives and livelihood: Strengthening the social and ecological safety nets

Responding to COVID-19 and interconnecting concerns in Southeast Asia

Understanding the COVID-19 impact on the vulnerable (Country listening session – Philippines)

Going a different way by caring for the good of all in our common home

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