"Sadly, earthquakes are inevitable in these high-mountain areas and we must ensure that in rebuilding, we draw upon international best practices to assist communities to plan and construct in better ways than previously, and also to mitigate the effects of any future shocks. The AKDN will contribute the extensive experience it has gained in recent decades in the mountain zones of the Hindu Kush, Pamirs, and Tien Shan in Northern Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia. This includes lessons learned about such issues as the special needs of rural and urban planning in mountain habitats, the development of energy and water sanitation infrastructure and resources, seismic-resistant construction, as well as training and capacity building for disaster preparedness, particularly at the community level."
His Highness the Aga Khan, 19 November 2005
Earthquake Relief and Reconstruction Efforts in Pakistan
FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, an affiliate of the AKDN, has been heavily involved in relief efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake, providing food supplies to over 85,000 people, distributing over 600 metric tons of food aid and evacuating over 1,200 casualties. The effort has been facilitated by the Aga Khan Foundation’s four Augusta Bell helicopters, two of which were flown in from Central Asia to assist in the operation. On November 19, His Highness the Aga Khan made a three-year, $50-million commitment to support rehabilitation, socio-economic development, and earthquake-preparedness in areas of the North West Frontier Province and Azad Jammu and Kashmir affected by the 8 October 2005 shock. For more information on ongoing activities, please see the Focus Humanitarian Assistance page, the US$50 million commitment and the Aga Khan's recent visit to areas affected by the earthquake.
AKPBS Receives Alcan Prize for Water and Sanitation Programme
The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service in Pakistan (AKPBS,P) has been named the 2005 winner of the US $1 million Alcan Prize for Sustainability by the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF). It received the award for its efforts to improve Pakistan’s built environment and water and sanitation facilities. Launched in 1997, the
programme's aim is to reduce the risk of water-borne diseases through the construction of potable water systems and sanitation infrastructure, as well as through the promotion of improved hygiene and sanitation practices. The success of this programme has led to a partnership between AKPBS,P and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund. As a result, the programme is being replicated in several other areas with the support of donors and partners. For more information, please see the press release and the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services home page.
Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations Launches Masters Degree Course
Aga Khan University-Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) will launch a two-year, full-time Master’s degree in Muslim Cultures in September 2006. The MA in Muslim Cultures offers a distinctive way of understanding the cultures of Muslims as they have evolved over time. For more information, please see the press release and the AKU-ISMC website page.
Azhar Park Receives Travel + Leisure 2005 Global Vision Innovation Award
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture received the Travel + Leisure 2005 Global Vision Award for Innovation. An article on the park appeared in the December 2005 issue of the magazine. From the citation: "Our judges were drawn to the extraordinarily multifaceted approach of this project: Al-Azhar provides leisure and recreational space to a city that has little; acts as an engine of social and economic development for neighboring residents; and is a catalyst for historic preservation. In a city where the amount of green space per resident was roughly the size of a footprint, Al-Azhar is a much-needed green lung for Cairo's 17 million inhabitants.... Al-Azhar has proven to be one of the most significant urban renewal efforts in recent history." For more information, please see the Travel + Leisure site. For more information on recent awards given to AKDN agencies, please see the AKDN Awards page.
Kabul Serena Hotel Opens
The restored and expanded Kabul Serena Hotel was officially inaugurated by His Excellency President Karzai and
His Highness the Aga Khan on 8 November 2005. Designed by award-winning architect Ramesh Khosla, the Kabul Serena Hotel provides Kabul with much-needed accommodation for investors, diplomats and other visitors to the city while functioning as an important post-war resource for Kabul businesses and residents. It employs 400 staff, 90 percent of whom are Afghan. For more information, please see the press release, video and the Serena Hotels website.
Aga Khan Award for Architecture Announces Project Eligibility Criteria for Next Cycle; Appoints New Steering Committee; Holds Seminar in Kuwait
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture has announced eligibility criteria for completed building projects to be considered for the Award’s Tenth Cycle that spans the period from 2005 to 2007. Eligible projects may be submitted on-line through September 2006. For more information, please see the submission procedures. The Award is governed by a Steering Committee chaired by His Highness the Aga Khan, who has appointed a new committee for the 2007 Award Cycle. The Committee is responsible for providing thematic direction for the Award programme in response to the priorities and issues that have emerged during the recent past, and to develop plans for its cyclical and long-term future. For more information, including biographies of the 2007 Steering Committee members, please see the press release. A seminar entitled "Architectural Journalism and Criticism" was held in Kuwait City on 6 & 7 December 2005, and was jointly organized by the Award and the Kuwait Society of Engineers. More information on the seminar is available in the press release. The proceedings of the seminar presentations and discussions will be published during 2006.
The Career Centre is an on-line service which allows people interested in working for the Aga Khan Development Network to browse through job descriptions of current vacancies. The Centre currently features 27 jobs. The service also allows users to submit resumes and create and update a personal profile within an active database. Even if the current opportunities do not correspond to an applicant's field of expertise, a Job Alert Service sends email alerts when new positions are posted. For more information about current opportunities, please see the Career Centre.
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