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  2. 2. CONTENTSI N TRO D UC TIONC RI SI S R ESPONSEDISASTER RISK R EDUC TIONRESETTLEMENT AND REPATRIAT IONA T RAD IT ION OF VOLUNTEER I S MO RGA N ISATI ONThe South Asia earthquake in 2005 devastated the mountainous city of Balakot in Pakistan-administered Kashmir“ World communications beam instantly around the globe the image of death and misery—of earthquakes, tsunami, plague, and of man-made disaster of violence and hatred. For a time, they capture the world’s attention and generosity. Governments, themselves overwhelmed, “ do their best and carry most of the burden of the basic recovery. But they and the world’s donors must very often look to existing, specialised, non governmental organisations that have the knowledge, professional manpower and experience to respond to the great array of ills that follow social trauma. His Highness the Aga Khan, Convocation of the Aga Khan University Karachi, Pakistan, 3 December 2005 1
  3. 3. INTRODUCTIONFocus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) is an The organisation’s approach to its work isinternational crisis response and disaster risk philosophically rooted in the ethical values andmanagement agency. It provides emergency relief traditions of the Islamic faith, emphasising an ethicto communities suffering from natural disasters or of compassion and care for those most in crises. FOCUS implements disasterrisk reduction programmes in areas vulnerable to Central to FOCUS’ work is the aim to reducenatural hazards and engages in resettlement and human suffering and ensure community dignityreintegration programmes for populations displaced is maintained as the aftermath of a disasterby civil instability or conflict. is endured.As an affiliate of the Aga Khan DevelopmentNetwork (AKDN), FOCUS works alongside theglobal agencies of the AKDN in regions wherelonger term development is viable and sustainable The AKDN is a group of developmentafter a social crisis. FOCUS and the AKDN agencies agencies with mandates ranging from healthalso collaborate to provide health and livelihood and education to architecture, culture,recovery and rehabilitation initiatives for vulnerable microfinance, rural development, disastergroups during protracted crises. reduction, the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalisation of historicFOCUS was founded in 1994 by the Ismaili cities. For more information on AKDN, pleasecommunity under the guidance of His Highness visit Karim Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam ofthe Shi’a Imami Ismaili Muslims. Currently, FOCUShas operational offices in Central and South Asia,Europe and North America.Under FOCUS’ Milk Programme, milk was delivered daily to the border districts of Afghanistan. Milk provided daily nutrition toschoolchildren and staff and also increased the number of girls attending school.
  4. 4. CRISIS RESPONSEFOCUS’ primary engagement is in crisis responseand the provision of emergency humanitarianrelief to communities in need, primarily in thedeveloping world.FOCUS aims to save lives, reduce suffering andprovide support in the immediate aftermath ofa natural or man-made disaster. Since 1994,FOCUS has responded to the emergency needsof communities who have suffered from thedevastating effects of hurricanes, cyclones,avalanches, tsunami, flooding, earthquakes andcivil conflict.In addition to large-scale crises that reach theinternational media, FOCUS also responds toongoing natural hazards that cause particulardamage and destruction to remote mountaincommunities. Seasonal events such as springflash flooding or winter avalanches in northernAfghanistan, Tajikistan or the Northern Areas ofPakistan affect hundreds of communities by cuttingoff vital transport and communication links andalso hinder access to emergency support.FOCUS has mobilised to facilitate humanitarianoperations in countries including Afghanistan,Bangladesh, India, Madagascar, Mozambique,Pakistan, Portugal, Syria, Tajikistan and USA. Top: Aga Khan Foundation helicoptersWhere community volunteers have been trained, were vital in enabling FOCUS to deliver humanitarian relief to remote mountainFOCUS deploys search and rescue teams, local communities following the Kashmirfirst response teams and volunteer manpower earthquake in 2005to assist in the coordination of humanitarianresponse operations before advanced levels of Bottom: Loading food and other suppliesassistance arrive. for families affected by severe flooding in Mozambique in 2004 3
  5. 5. CRISIS RESPONSEVital supplies such as safe drinking water, Food assistance, provided through food for worktemporary shelter, high nutrition foods, warm programmes, contributed to community livelihoodsclothing, blankets and basic household items and were supported by the Canadian Internationalare amongst the relief items that FOCUS may Development Agency and the United Nation’sdistribute to those most in need. Procurement and World Food Programme.distributions are often organised in collaborationwith other agencies and non-governmental In collaboration with the Afghanistan Ministry oforganisations operating in the region of impact. Health and UN agencies such as UNICEF and WHO, FOCUS provided nutrition and emergencyA longer-term commitment to humanitarian health care support including an immunizationassistance was made in Badakhshan—a service to remote underserved communities in linemountainous province of Northern Afghanistan. with national policy.Following the fall of the Taliban regime, immediaterelief and recovery efforts were vital to the lives Infrastructure rehabilitation included road andof remote communities living at high altitudes on bridge reconstruction as well as the rehabilitationthe border with Tajikistan. of schools and health care facilities.FOCUS staff in Gujarat distribute basic supplies to families affected by heavy rains and flooding in India 4
  6. 6. A TRADITION OFVOLUNTEERISM An integral strength to FOCUS is its international volunteer network. This dedicated human resource can be mobilised to assist FOCUS crisis response operations especially at short notice. FOCUS is able to rely on community volunteer manpower to assist in packing, delivering and distributing emergency relief items to those in need. Leveraging local volunteer resources facilitates the speed of relief operations in a disaster-hit region, and importantly, capitalises on the use of local knowledge including terrain and language familiarity, cultural awareness and community understanding. ST R E N G T H E NIN G C OM M U NIT IE S T H R OU G H VO L U N T E E R T R AI NI N G As part of its endeavour to foster disaster resilient communities, FOCUS invests in training volunteer community members to be part of emergency first response teams in their local regions. In the Northern Areas of Pakistan, in collaboration with specialist organisations, FOCUS has trained and developed volunteer capacity in search andFOCUS volunteers around the world play a rescue, information and communication, disastervital role in organising emergency supplies to assessment as well as active local emergencybe collected, individually packed, loaded onto response teams.donkeys, helicopters, lorries, or boats for safedelivery to communities in need Additionally in Canada, India, Tajikistan and USA, community volunteers have been trained in implementing preparedness measures, to utilise basic technical skills and disaster communication skills to enable an efficient community-based response following a crisis. In Europe, FOCUS is working towards developing a highly trained, volunteer international search and rescue team to be deployed at any given time. 5
  7. 7. DISASTER RISK REDUCTION A significant area of FOCUS’ work concentrates on community-based disaster risk reduction initiatives. Efforts to increase awareness of disaster risks in communities living in both urban and rural areas aim to strengthen the local capabilities of populations to be better prepared and more resilient against the natural hazards prevalent in their respective regions. One important activity in Tajikistan has been the installation of high frequency CODAN radios and training community members to operate them. Operators are able to relay critical and timely information about local hazards across the mountainous region and request help where necessary. In addition, FOCUS has worked to train government personnel especially within the Ministry of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense (MoESCD), to cope with disasters through information management and capacity building initiatives. In collaboration with international and local disaster preparedness organisations, government departments, communities in schools, hospitals and civil society institutions, FOCUS has facilitated numerous disaster risk reduction projects, particularly in South and Central Asia.Top: In high mountain areas of Badakhshan,Tajikistan, FOCUS works with localcommunities to build irrigation channels,pathways, and other structural mitigationprojects to protect communities from theeffects of avalanches, flooding, mud slides AKDN and FOCUS have developed aand rock falls strategic risk management approach with disaster risk reduction measuresBottom: In high altitude areas of Pakistan, at the core. The overarching goal isFOCUS holds simulation exercises with to enhance the state of preparednessspecialist partner organisations to ensure its among disaster-prone and rescue team have updated skillsand are ready for deployment at any time 6
  8. 8. Disaster preparedness education, specialist Disaster preparedness education and ongoingtraining and awareness initiatives include small- awareness activities are central to FOCUS’scale mitigation projects at all levels of community programmes, especially in regions of disaster risk.and institutional structure. FOCUS works with communities and institutions in schools, health centres, civil society organisationsAs part of the disaster risk reduction process, FOCUS and local civic authorities to ensure disasterfacilitates small scale mitigation projects such as awareness training and education reaches all levelsbuilding flood retaining walls, reinforcing foot and of the community.vehicle bridges and creating irrigation channels. Many of the community-based disaster preparednessIn partnership with local communities, FOCUS has initiatives undertaken by FOCUS are supportedalso relocated vulnerable buildings in regions of through development and humanitarian agencies suchseismic risk such as schools and health facilities as the Canadian International Development Agencyas well as built evacuation paths, safe havens and (CIDA), the European Commission’s Humanitariancreated stockpiles of vital supplies for use by local Aid Office and Disaster Preparedness Office (ECHOcommunities. and DIPECHO), the Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF), the Swiss Agency for Development andEfforts to better prepare families and communities Cooperation (SDC), as well as several United Nationsagainst disasters, include drawing up disaster agencies and other plans and holding simulationexercises in schools and hospitals.In Europe, a volunteer search and rescue team practice handling casualties. The team undergo vigorous training exercises as part oftheir certification process. 7
  9. 9. H U M A N I TA R I A N R E S P O N S E SOVER THE LAST 15 YEARS Food assistance to communities Basic supplies to displaced who lost crops after forest fires families arriving at a camp in in Seia, Portugal Jordan after the second Gulf war UNITED CANADA KINGDOMClothing to families who FRANCElost their possessions duringHurricanes Katrina and Rita SPAIN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PORTUGAL MALI SENEGALUnloading tents for displaced BURKINA FAfamilies crossing the Syrianborder during the Lebanon crisis IVORY COASTReceiving food and basichousehold supplies after severeflooding in Mozambique Efforts to better prepare families and communities against disasters, include drawing up disaster management plans and holding Humanitarian relief flown in simulation exercises in schools by helicopter to communities and hospitals. affected by Cyclone Gafilo in Madagascar 8
  10. 10. Distributing vital supplies to families to survive the harsh winter after a large earthquake in Nahrin, Afghanistan RUSSIA The South Asia earthquake SWITZERLAND KAZAKHSTAN flattened the city of Balakot in Pakistan-administered Kashmir BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA KYRGYZ REPUBLIC UZBEKISTAN TURKEY TAJIKISTAN SYRIA AFGHANISTAN IRAN EGYPT PAKISTAN BANGLADESH INDIA In Indian-administered Kashmir,ASO emergency supplies were delivered to isolated villages after the South Asia earthquake UGANDA KENYA DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO TANZANIA MOZAMBIQUE MADAGASCAR Ensuring displaced survivors of the Gujarat earthquake had safe drinking water Humanitarian relief to Indian Volunteers packing food items for Ocean Tsunami survivors in families following Ogni Cyclone Andhra Pradesh included clothing as well as other essential items 9
  11. 11. DISASTERP R E PA R E D N E S S IN D IA Among the regions affected by the Indian Ocean Tsunami, were remote villages in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Through the support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), a multi-year, multi-million dollar programme aiming to provide relief and development to coastal communities is being implemented by FOCUS and agencies of the AKDN. The programme aims to enhance the state of resilience and preparedness in fifteen villages, benefitting a population of 16,000. The programme also seeks to develop capacity in community-based institutions to facilitate the growth of better protected communities. Sanjeev’s Story Twenty-year old Sanjeev is a fisherman. He and a group of others from his village are trying to cope as best they can to return to a normal life. The tsunami had devastating effects on his village in the Nagayalanka mandal (sub-district), the second most affected mandal in the Krishna district. The look of fear is still visible in his eyes as he describes the destructive wave that hit his village. His voice heightens as he talks about the most recent disaster —a cyclone. Coastal areas are prone to suchTop: Through the Andhra Pradesh Relief hazards. Still mourning the death of his sister, andto Development Project, FOCUS works dealing with the loss of his fishing livelihood, hiswith communities to foster disaster resilientenvironments. One initiative is the building home and possessions, Sanjeev also looks to non-of boathouses to protecting fishing boats governmental agencies for hope to re-build his life.from future damage. Through a FOCUS and CIDA partnership, Sanjeev and other villages are being trained to developOpposite top: Female members of a FOCUS village disaster management plans to identifycommunity response team in Chitral. Both vulnerable areas, plan safe evacuation routes andfemales as well as males are encouraged to establish multi-purpose cyclone shelters to houseparticipate in community-based training toprepare themselves for potential hazards. safety equipment and communications systems.Opposite bottom: Community membersreceive training in first aid and handlingcasualties in Badakhshan, Tajikistan 10
  12. 12. TA JIK IS TA N In landlocked Tajikistan, FOCUS drives a broad spectrum of disaster risk reduction activities. These range from disaster awareness seminars, training and education for village communities, schools and hospitals, to enhancing awareness and building risk management capacity in government institutions and other organisations. FOCUS uses geographic information systems and risk modelling to enable communities to be aware of local hazards and plan to avert such disasters affecting local populations.PAK ISTAN Shabnam’s StoryIn Pakistan, FOCUS engages in community Shabnam, 18, is from Shujand village in Rushan,preparedness in urban and rural environments Badakhshan. “I know I live in one of the mostand has specific expertise in high altitude areas. hazardous villages in the Bartang valley. MudflowsFOCUS trains men and women in a variety of occur very often. Last year, when I was at school,integral preparedness and technical skills to enable we had lessons from FOCUS about disastercommunities to be equipped to save lives and be preparedness. I learned that we should not be afraidbetter able to respond to natural hazards, safely of mudflows and landslides, but we should prepareand effectively. ourselves for when they come, and then we will be able to save many lives. After this, I agreed withAsham Bibi’s Story my family to walk 5 km every day to learn how toA mother of two young children, Asham Bibi is rescue myself, my family and neighbours quicklyteam leader of the information unit of a Community and safely. The most important thing I learned wasEmergency Response Team in Baghust, Chitral. first aid skills. My father is old and often sick andFrom her FOCUS training, Ashan Bibi had come needs support during disasters. We also have manyto learn that the pastures near her home were small children in our village and I feel it is now myprone to snow avalanches at the start of spring, responsibility to help them during such times.”so when families began to settle there with theirlivestock, she realised they were on a dangerouspath. Asham Bibi asked her father-in-law to visitthe families on her behalf and persuade themto move. Initially they were reluctant to move,however when Asham Bibi’s father-in-law toldthem she was a FOCUS trained CERT team leader,they accepted his warning and moved, leavingtheir livestock behind. As fate would have it, thatsame night there was an avalanche. It destroyedlivestock and property, but due to Asham Bibi’stimely warning, no lives were lost. Asham Bibi feelsthat without her training from FOCUS, she wouldnot have known about the local dangers and sheis now known as a life saver. 11
  13. 13. RESETTLEMENTA N D R E PAT R I AT I O N Since 1994, FOCUS has sought to assist people affected by displacement. Following serious civil conflict in countries such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Kosovo, FOCUS facilitated the relocation of communities to Canada, Germany, India, Pakistan and Russia. FOCUS has supported resettlement programmes for newly-arrived communities to re-establish themselves and their families with dignity, largely through its widespread volunteer network in the Ismaili community. Programmes have included components to assist with cultural acclimatisation, such as languageYouth from Afghanistan, newly-arrived in classes, vocational training courses for men andQuebec, Canada look to the future with a women as well as education development andrenewed sense of hope and opportunity local community orientation. Such programmes are often facilitated with formal partnerships, such as the protocols of agreement signed by the Quebec government in Canada between 1992 and 2001 to assist the resettlement of over 1,600 Afghan refugees in the province of Quebec.Young children and adults actively engaged in education and re-training 12
  14. 14. FOCUS’ repatriation programme commenced In close collaboration with the US Bureau ofin 2002 and lasted several years. It facilitated Population, Refugees and Migration, the Europeanthe safe return to Afghanistan, of families Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office, and thewho had been displaced by civil conflict United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,and instability. FOCUS facilitated the building and rehabilitation of more than 7,800 seismically resistant homes.Nearly 8,000 families voluntarily returned to Families also received training in earthquakevarious parts of Afghanistan. reinforcement methodologies, as well as health and hygiene awareness.In the northern province of Badakhshan, FOCUSimplemented vocational and on-the-job-training These efforts were complemented with community-to over 1,200 individuals, including 700 women based road, water and sanitation reconstructionin a variety of disciplines. The training aimed projects in collaboration with agencies of theto enhance skills for employment and income AKDN in Afghanistan.generation and to aid effective reintegrationinto Afghan society. In addition, community Currently, FOCUS is researching and compiling bestcaseworkers helped thousands of Afghan returnees practices in the field of community resettlementaccess AKDN-established health care facilities and repatriation in collaboration with academicand education programmes. and other not-for-profit organisations.Returnees to Afghanistan work together to build temporary Vocational training included culturally appropriate skills suchhousing in Badakhshan Afghanistan, under the FOCUS-UNHCR as dressmaking for women. This allowed females to contributeprogramme to family income on their return to Afghanistan. 13
  15. 15. O R G A N I S AT I O NIn each country of operation, FOCUS is incorporated as a registered charity or a not-for-profit organisationand is governed by a voluntary board. An international secretariat provides coordination for strategic andoperational activities.FOCUS offices are staffed by professionals from the humanitarian, emergency response and disaster riskreduction sectors. They serve as the primary implementers of disaster risk reduction programmes andresponse operations. Thousands of volunteers around the world support FOCUS’ programmes, emergencyresponse and preparedness initiatives, as well as its fundraising and awareness events.FOCUS International Coordinating Committee FOCUS EuropeSecretariat 205-209 Addiscombe Road789 Don Mills Road, Suite 201 Croydon, Surrey CR0 6SPDon Mills, Ontario, M3C 1T5 United KingdomCanada Tel: +44 20 8654 6131Tel: + 1 416 422 0177 FOCUS IndiaFOCUS Afghanistan 305, Maker Bhavan No. 3House 42 Street 02 21, New Marine LinesQallai Fatehullah, Kabul Mumbai 400020Afghanistan Tel: +91 22 22017175 / +91 22 32663549 focusindia@focushumanitarian.orgFOCUS in North AmericaToronto Office FOCUS Pakistan789 Don Mills Road, Suite 201 House No. 563, Street No. 19, G -10/2Toronto, Ontario M3C 1T5 Islamabad 44000Canada PakistanTel: + 1 416 423 7988 Tel: + 92 (51) 229 focuspakistan@focushumanitarian.orgWashington, D.C. Office FOCUS in Tajikistan7777 Leesburg Pike, Suite 303 South 137 Rudaki Avenue,Falls Church, VA 22043 Tojikmatlubot Building, 4th FloorUSA 734003 DushanbeTel: +1 703 442 3212 Tel: +992 37 221 9830 14
  16. 16. PA RT N E R SAfghan AidAga Khan Development NetworkAgency for Technical Cooperation and DevelopmentAmerican Red CrossAsian Disaster Preparedness CentreCanadian International Development AgencyCatholic Relief ServicesCentral Asian Institute for Applied Geo-SciencesConcernDepartment for International Development, UKDeutsche Gesellschaft für Technische ZusammenarbeitEuropean Commission Humanitarian Aid OfficeGeo Hazards InternationalGovernment of AfghanistanGovernment of CanadaGovernment of FranceGovernment of GermanyGovernment of IndiaGovernment of JapanGovernment of MozambiqueGovernment of PakistanGovernment of PortugalGovernment of TajikistanGovernment of United Stated of AmericaHilfswerk AustriaIndian Institute of Health Management ResearchInternational Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, SyriaInternational Centre for Integrated Mountain DevelopmentInternational Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent SocietiesInternational Finance CooperationJapanese Social Development FundJustice Institute British ColumbiaMerlinMission EastNational Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Science, IndiaNorwegian Afghanistan CommitteeOxfam Great BritainPartners in Aviation and Communications TechnologyRescue and Preparedness in Disasters, UKSave the Children UKSwiss Agency for Development and CooperationTata Institute of Social Sciences, IndiaThe World BankUnited Nations Development ProgrammeUnited Nations High Commissioner for RefugeesUnited Nations Human Settlements ProgrammeUnited Nations International Children’s Emergency FundUnited Nations International Strategy for Disaster ReductionUnited Nations Office for Project ServicesUnited Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian AffairsUnited Nations World Food ProgrammeUnited States Agency for International DevelopmentUnited States Department of AgricultureUnited States Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and MigrationUniversity of Central AsiaWorld Health Organisation 15
  17. 17. THE S YMB OLThe symbol of Focus Humanitarian Assistance(FOCUS) is built around the human figure, reachingout to four points of the compass from the centre,and communicating the institution’s mandateand geographic diversity. A repeat pattern of acaring gesture—extending arms—lends harmonyand unity to the human contour defined by theelongated “F” shape. The four triangular formsrotate around a common centre and indicate theactive nature of the institution creating an imageof motion.I MAGE CREDI TSFocus Humanitarian Assistance acknowledges themany staff and volunteers around the world whohave contributed to FOCUS’ image databank andthe images used in this publication.DES I GN , L AYOUT AND PRINT IN GDesign, Layout and PrintingEighty/20 Group Inc.TextIffat Salaam/FOCUS2008 Focus Humanitarian Assistance 16