DUSHANBE, August 20, Asia-Plus — Tajikistan’s Main Geology Directorate (Tajik Geology) and Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) signed an agreement of strategic partnership under the auspices of FOCUS’ DIPECHO 2007 – 2008 award, Asia-Plus has learned from Sitora Shokamolova, Communication Officer with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Tajikistan.

Through this agreement, FOCUS will provide Tajik Geology with capacity building opportunities specifically related to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other tools to support Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). Tajik Geology will support FOCUS in its present and future DRR activities throughout Tajikistan specifically with geological assessment and other services. This partnership will assist in an on-going effort to reduce the risk of the people of Tajikistan from natural disasters and the agencies will enhance the effectiveness of their activities and expertise to support more communities in Tajikistan.

FOCUS is an international group of agencies established in Europe, North America, and South Asia to complement the provision of emergency relief, principally in the developing world. It helps people in need reduce their dependence on humanitarian aid and facilitates their transition to sustainable, self-reliant, long-term development. FOCUS is affiliated with the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of institutions working to improve opportunities and living conditions for people of all faiths and origins in specific regions of the developing world. Underlying the establishment of FOCUS by the Ismaili Muslim community is a history of successful initiatives to assist people struck by natural and man-made disasters in South and Central Asia and Africa.