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A human security perspective in understanding risk information during the COVID-19 pandemic

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This contributing paper examines access to emergency and related information during the COVID-19 pandemic as a crucial human security issue. Access to information is often a barrier for persons with specific communication needs and that it is imperative to ensure that targeted risk communication reaches all vulnerable groups. The lack of sufficient and accurate facts about COVID-19 and other related concerns during the first quarter of 2020 positioned people at a greater level of vulnerability and insecurity.

The study concludes that, amongst others, risk information is a fit tool to address the wide range of insecurities that continue to persist and evolve. Context-specific and sufficient information can reduce (if not eliminate) fear. Risk information also aids people in assessing vulnerabilities across a spectrum of (potential) insecurities through risk perception. Finally, aligned with human security’s operational framework, risk information can protect and empower people in responding to the multiple threats of COVID-19 by making rational and sound choices for themselves and their communities/groups.

Author(s): Lisette R. Robles