KHOROG, July 1, 2009, Asia-Plus  -- A ten-day training on assessing natural disaster threats, vulnerability and risks in mountain areas began in Khorog, the capital of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO or Gorno Badakhshan) on June 30.

Staged by Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) in the framework of the ECHO-supported project, Fostering Disaster Resilient Communities in Isolated Mountain Areas, the event has brought together representatives from Tajikistan’s main Geology Directorate, Institute of Geology, Institute of Seismology, Committee for emergency Situations (CES), South Hydrogeology Expedition, Tajik National University, Hydromet and Khorog State University.

Speaking in an interview with Asia-Plus, Ms. Yekaterina Nazarshoyeva, coordinator of the component for raising potential of the DIPECHO (Disaster Preparedness ECHO) project institutions, said that the main objective of the training is in giving Tajik specialists an opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge as well as promoting improvement of potential of institutions working in the emergency management sphere.

FOCUS, an international group of agencies established by the Ismaili Muslim community in Europe, North America and South Asia to complement the provision of emergency relief, principally in the developing world, has been partner for implementation of the DIPECHO project in Gorno Badakhshan since 2003.  It implements various disaster risk reduction initiatives at the level of communities in all districts of the region.  In the framework of DIPECHO program, FOCUS has assessed natural disaster threats, vulnerability and risks in 309 communities, conducted disaster awareness training in 268 communities and implemented mitigation projects in 95 communities.