The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) has handed over two NIVA vehicles (Russian-made off-road vehicles) to the Committee on Emergency Situations and Civil Defense (CoES)’s office in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO), according to the CoES press service.

The vehicles that were handed over today are reportedly intended for CoES’s office in Shugnan and Murgab districts.

The assistance was provided in the framework of the DIPECHO X project, funded by EU Humanitarian Aid.

On the same day, CoES chief Rustam Nazarzoda held a meeting in Khorog, the capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, to discuss issues related to preparedness of CoES’s office in GBAO for winter period and spring floods, Umeda Yusufi, a spokeswoman for CoES, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

To address the increasing threat posed by natural disasters and climate change, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) works to ensure that poor people live in physical settings that are as safe as possible from the effects of natural disasters; that residents who do live in high-risk areas are able to cope with disasters in terms of preparedness and response; and that these settings provide access to social and financial services that lead to greater opportunity and a better quality of life.

The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat was created in 2016 by bringing together several AKDN agencies and programs that had been established to tackle issues related to improving habitats and resources.

These component parts include: the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services; Focus Humanitarian Response; and the Disaster Risk Management Initiative; the Prince Sadruddin Fund for the Environment;

The programs of the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat have won a number of awards, including: 2015 Times of India Social Impact Award (India); 2012 Zayed Energy Prize (Abu Dhabi); 2011 Ashden Award (UK); 2009 UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction Certificate of Merit; 2009 Dubai International Award for Best Practices; 2009 Partnership for Clean Indoor Air Global Leadership Award (Uganda); 2009 and 2010 National Energy Globe Award (Czech Republic); 2006 Sitara-e-Eisaar (for earthquake relief in Pakistan); 2005 ALCAN Prize for Sustainability (Canada); and 2006 World Habitat Award (UK).

In Tajikistan, Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS), a part of the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, engages with communities living in precarious mountain environments to increase their resilience to natural disasters and complex emergencies and to support them in utilizing an enabling habitat to enhance their health, education and economic development. 

The FOCUS approach is to predict where possible potential emergencies that may impact homes and livelihoods, identify structural and non-structural interventions that can prevent or mitigate the impact of those hazards and to build the capacities of communities and local and national Governments to reduce their vulnerability to risk and to increase their capacities to help their neighbors. 

To enable this FOCUS implements a wide range of disaster prevention and response initiatives in local communities, including disaster preparedness trainings, vulnerability assessments, risk mitigation activities and disaster relief efforts.

For nearly 20 years, FOCUS, with financial support from the European Commission, World Bank and the governments of Japan, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Canada and USA, has worked to meet the challenges of the communities by fostering disaster-resilience.