Tajikistan, July 2016 – Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS), an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network, and the Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan have signed an agreement to implement Phase II of a 36-month project that will directly and indirectly enhance community disaster preparedness levels of approximately 50,000 people in Tajikistan.
The project, “Creating Opportunities in a Safe Environment (COSE): Fostering Self-Sustained and Resilient Communities,” will be co-funded by the Swiss Government and implemented by FOCUS, the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP) and Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Tajikistan. The implementers are all part of the Aga Khan Development Network, which works in all four regions of Tajikistan.
The project will introduce new and innovative approaches to promoting and enabling sustainable livelihood opportunities and improve communities’ resilience to natural disasters in Khorog, Shughnan and the Roshtqala districts of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) of Tajikistan. COSE II will make communities more resilient to disasters, through enhanced risk assessment techniques, and will work with communities and local government on hazard risk management initiatives to protect against the adverse impact of natural disasters. To enable disaster risk reduction, FOCUS and MSDSP will work with communities and government authorities throughout the project promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, effective land use planning, sustainable pasture, livestock, and land management for effective disaster risk reduction.
Phase II of Creating Opportunities in a Safe Environment builds upon the successful results of previous partnerships with the Government of Switzerland FOCUS and MSDSP. This includes the implementation of COSE I, which helped to integrate disaster risk management elements into community-based development planning across GBAO. Among other results, the programme led to the increased resilience of a quarter of all communities (approximately 75,500 people) in GBAO.
The new phase of the project marks a decade of cooperation between the Government of Switzerland and Focus Humanitarian Assistance, Tajikistan. Throughout this project, FOCUS, Tajikistan, AKF and MSDSP’s key partners will include the Government of Tajikistan, the Department of Geology, the Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defence and the Land Management Committee.