Fire Safety and Community Preparedness

USA, February 2017 – On average, fire departments in the United States respond to a fire every 23 seconds. To prepare communities, FOCUS-trained volunteers in Chicago, IL provided training on how to put out small fires. Individuals were taught how to use fire extinguishers and other essential information on fire safety. FOCUS-trained volunteers also teach community members about the importance of being prepared for disasters. Community members are taught about the importance of creating a family emergency plan, having a disaster kit with essential supplies, and staying informed of severe weather in … Read More

FOCUS and USAID Sign Agreement to Create Resilient Communities

Pakistan, January 2017 – The Department of Emergency Management (formerly FOCUS) of the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH)  and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program initiated a project “Creating Resilient Communities in Shimshal Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan”.  The project, which aims to build resilience against the threat of glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) events in Shimshal valley, will build the capacity of community members in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM). The project also aims to conduct hazard and risk … Read More

FOCUS Delivers Relief Items to Takhar Province

Afghanistan, October 2016 – Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) donated 125 tents and 100 Non Food Item packages to the Governor of Takhar to support 750 Internally Displaced People (IDP) in Kunduz. The Governor of Takhar, Mohammad Yasin Zia, expressed his gratitude to Focus Humanitarian Assistance and other NGOs who are helping with the response on the ground. “There are over 5,000 people arriving in Taloqan,” he said, “these tents will provide shelter for the IDPs from Kunduz, we cannot let women and children sleep in the open because we do … Read More

Agreement for a new phase of “Creating Opportunities in a Safe Environment”

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 … Read More

FOCUS Delivers Emergency Food Assistance

Afghanistan, June 2016 – To address recent severe food shortages, Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) has delivered vital food supplies provided by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to 327 households, or 1,547 individuals in the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan. Villagers in the districts of Big and Small Pamirs, located in Afghanistan’s remote Badakhshan province received the WFP food packages including wheat flour, vegetable oil, pulses, salt and high energy biscuits – enough to feed the entire population of these districts for two months. The food was delivered to Afghanistan from … Read More

Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction into Development Planning

Afghanistan, April 2016 – With the aim of promoting disaster resilience in the development and rehabilitation of Afghanistan, Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) in Afghanistan and the State Ministry of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs of Afghanistan (SMDM) organised a conference on Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) into the Development Planning Process. The conference was held in the United Arab Emirates, from 5-6 April 2016. “Afghanistan is prone to multiple disasters. This conference has helped us to understand the benefits of the tool of mainstreaming and create a road map for … Read More

FOCUS Pakistan Flood Response

Pakistan, April 2016 – In April 2016, heavy rain and snow fall in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral triggered a series of devastating avalanches, flash floods and landslides that damaged over 600 houses. FOCUS evacuated critical patients utilizing AKDN helicopters and provided tents, blankets and non-food aid to affected households. With support from AKDN agencies, water purification tablets were distributed, bridges and irrigation channels rehabilitated and earthquake resistant shelters built to safeguard villagers.

Earthquake Relief in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan

Afghanistan/Tajikistan/Pakistan, October 2015 – Following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Central Asia in October 2015, Focus Humanitarian Assistance – in collaboration with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and other partner agencies – provided relief efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan to support affected communities. Immediately following the earthquake, FOCUS response teams rushed to the affected areas to work with and support the local Community Emergency Response Teams, which are trained by FOCUS. Relief efforts included the provision of tents, blankets, medicines … Read More

Earthquake Preparedness

USA, October 2015 – During the month of October 2015, FOCUS-trained volunteers across the United States led their communities in the 2015 AKDN ShakeOut drill. The purpose of this drill was simple – practice makes perfect – as the drill taught individuals what to do in the event of an earthquake. In addition to teaching individuals about the Drop, Cover and Hold On procedure, FOCUS-trained volunteers also conducted special disaster preparedness sessions with senior members of the community. At these sessions, members played a customized version of Jeopardy to learn … Read More

Tajikistan Flood Relief

Tajikistan, July 2015 – In July 2015 villages across Tajikistan experienced severe flooding and mud flows as the result of an outburst of glacial lakes up in the mountains. These disastrous events destroyed homes, knocked down power lines, and disrupted transportation and communication between villages. Focus Humanitarian Assistance Tajikistan, in collaboration with its partners and the Government of Tajikistan, actively worked to support relief efforts on an ongoing basis. FOCUS set up shelters and assisted in providing much needed supplies across the region including food, water and medical equipment. Photo … Read More