DUSAHNBE, March 25, 2009, Asia-Plus  -- Every year communities in the mountainous regions of Tajikistan are subject to natural hazards such as landslides and debris flows.

In an effort to reduce the resulting risk run by those communities, the Embassy of Japan in Dushanbe and Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) on March 20 signed an agreement to hydro-insulate a water channel in the district of Roshtqala and rehabilitate a debris flow channel in the district of Ishkashim, press release issued by FOCU Humanitarian Assistance said.

FOCUS will implement these activities in partnership with the Government of Tajikistan and the communities in these districts. The agreement is signed under the auspices of the Japanese Grant Assistance for Grass-root Human Security Projects and is a continuation of the long-standing partnership between the Government of Japan and FOCUS to reduce the risk of communities in Tajikistan to natural hazards.

Since 2001, FOCUS, with the support of the Government of Japan, has implemented a variety of disaster risk reduction projects in the Republic of Tajikistan.

Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) is an international disaster management and emergency response agency providing relief and support services during and following natural and man-made disasters, primarily in the developing world. It is established in Europe, North America, Central and South Asia and helps people in need reduce their dependence on humanitarian aid and facilitates their transition to sustainable, self-reliant, long-term development. Since 1997, FOCUS in Tajikistan has responded to over 40 natural disasters and deployed over USD 600,000 for relief to affected communities.

FOCUS is an affiliate of 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.