Reflecting growing recognition of the professionalism of the search and rescue teams assembled by the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), the People’s Republic of China invited AKAH to participate on behalf of Tajikistan in the first “Flame Blue” International Technical Exchange and Games on Fire and Rescue that took place in Hangzhou from November 4 to November 10.

According to the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), the event brought together search and rescue teams from across China, as well as from Russia, Mongolia, Singapore, Nepal, Malaysia and other countries.

During the competition, the AKAH team reportedly demonstrated capacities developed over many years with the support of the Government of Tajikistan, international search and rescue teams in the United Kingdom and California, and through the support of partners such as the Swiss Development Cooperation Office and the European Commission.

Jafar Qurbonmamadov, the AKAH team leader, reflected, “this competition was a great opportunity for our team to get a closer insight into the broader search and rescue operations that take place around the world. Competing at this high a level with strong teams from different countries enabled our teams to not only test our capacity, but to build relationships with our counterparts from around the world.”

“While the AKAH team was honored and received rewards and recognition for their technical prowess in search and rescue and response,” said Hadi Husani, the Chief Executive Officer of the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat in Tajikistan.  “What stood out most for them upon returning was that they were recognized for their passion and cohesiveness as a team.  This is something that cannot be taught but comes from a deep sense of responsibility for their community, their country and for humanity at large.  We are so proud of the team and look forward to their continued accomplishments on the global stage and at home.”

The AKAH Search and Rescue Team has been invited to participate in the upcoming commemoration of the Ministry of Emergencies in China 2020 and will be participating in international Search and Rescue competitions in Malaysia, China and Laos.