FOCUS USA and the Ismaili Community Support National and Local COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

Upon taking office, United States President Joe Biden committed to an initial goal of administering 100 million vaccinations in the country. The day after his inauguration, Focus Humanitarian Assistance USA (FOCUS USA) received a call from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Voluntary Agency Coordination Office to help support the national vaccination effort. In partnership with the Aga Khan Health Board and the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board, FOCUS USA worked with FEMA and county public health offices to assist and expedite vaccinations in Texas, California, Illinois, Georgia, and … Read More

Pakistani Women Are Key in Successful Rescue Missions

PAKISTAN (February 2021) – Over the past few decades, volunteers with Focus Humanitarian Assistance and the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) have been collaborating to empower local communities to become self-reliant during times of disasters. [1] Gradually, women in these traditionally conservative communities have realized they can play an essential role in local disaster relief efforts, particularly in Pakistan’s mountain communities. Middle-school teacher Shamim Bano is one of the 50,000 volunteers trained in this joint community-based disaster risk management effort since 1998. As a young girl, Bano was disturbed … Read More

How AKAH Tajikistan is Increasing Emergency Response Readiness

TAJIKISTAN (April 2020) – The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) recently conducted refresher trainings for members of the Rasht Valley’s Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).[1] The workshops, which were designed to enhance emergency preparedness across six districts in Tajikistan, equipped CERT volunteers in first aid, light search and rescue and evacuation techniques, all of which enable them to be optimal first responders. More than 200 members participated in the training sessions; individuals ranged in age from 18 and 55 and included doctors, nurses, engineers and young professionals. CERT trainer … Read More

FOCUS USA SUPPORTS COVID-19 PREPARDNESS & PREVENTION ACTIVITIES IN TAJIKISTAN

TAJIKISTAN (March 2020) – FOCUS USA has secured funding for essential emergency medical supplies as well as communication efforts to raise awareness about the global coronavirus pandemic. The procured stock of essential supplies included 1,500 disposable gowns, 2,500 pairs of disposable shoe covers, 2,000 disposable caps, 2,500 surgical masks, 100 respirators, 6,000 pairs of gloves, 250 disposable coveralls, 90 goggles, 100 waterproof aprons, 50 waterproof boots, four thermo-scanners, 200 kilogram of hydrochloride, 30 kits of PPE, as well as medication. The funding has also helped distribute thousands of leaflets and … Read More

AKAH HELPS VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES MEET THEIR FOOD NEEDS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN PAKISTAN

PAKISTAN (March 2020) – The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) in Pakistan was enlisted as a member of the Pakistani national task force to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in the isolated mountain communities of Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan. FOCUS USA, which engages in crisis response and humanitarian relief through AKAH in developing countries, provided emergency funding to help AKAH Pakistan stockpile food to feed 4,000 households for two weeks. Medical supplies such as personal protective equipment and essential medicines were also provisioned to help support medical professionals and volunteers … Read More

AKAH ORGANIZES TRAINING FOR FEMALE RESCUERS IN DUSHANBE

Tajikistan, March 2019 – The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) helped support the efforts to launch a week-long training for female rescuers from Afghanistan and Tajikistan in March 2019.1  The training was held at the Republican Training Center of the Emergencies Committee which was led by professional instructors from the United Kingdom.  This is the first all-female training after the February 2018 signing of a protocol for cross-border cooperation for disaster preparedness and response to emergency situations between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.  Participants have developed new skills and learned methods … Read More

AVALANCHE SAFETY AND RESCUE TEAMS DEPLOYED IN GBAO

Tajikistan, February 2019 – Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO), a region highly vulnerable to natural hazards, has a long history of being negatively impacted by the effects of disasters. Avalanche is among many other hazards that causes catastrophic accidents often leading to fatal consequences and leaving large segment of the population without shelter and means of survival in this mountainous area.  Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) in Tajikistan established 143 Avalanche Preparedness Teams (AVPT) in the region who work with Tajikistan’s Committee of Emergency Situation and Civil Defense (CoES) and … Read More

AKAH INVESTS IN CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT FOR SART

Pakistan, October 2018 – The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) in Pakistan collaborated with the United Kingdom International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) and the Punjab Emergency Service to organize a certification course for its Search and Rescue Teams (SART) in Lahore.1 26 SART members, which included both men and women, attended the seven day long training session.  The training was aimed to develop skills for urban search and rescue, water rescue, and powered rescue boat. FOCUS and AKAH have led the development and capacity building of regional Search and … Read More

COMMUNITY-BASED DISASTER RISK REDUCTION PROGRAMS

India, 2018 – Throughout 2018, villages in the coastal region in southern Gujarat have been a part of Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) India’s Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction Programs (CBDRR).1 Over the course of the year, AKAH India has conducted Disaster Awareness Programs (DAP), formed Village Disaster Committee in each village, trained Community Emergency Response Team in each village, and conducted community-led Hazard, Vulnerability and Risk Assessments (HVRA). Alinawaz Nanjee, AKAH India’s CBDRR leader, notes that he was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic participation of the villagers in both HVRA mapping … Read More

First Aid, CPR and AED skills

USA, Ongoing – Focus Humanitarian Assistance USA supports volunteers in the community to receive training in First Aid, CPR and AED skills. Over the past three years, over 1,300 volunteers across the United States have received training and certification in these life-saving skills.