Islamabad, Pakistan 30 June, 2006 - The President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, today conferred the award “Sitara-e-Eisaar” upon Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS), an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The award was bestowed to the humanitarian agency in the presence of the Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz in recognition of its outstanding efforts in rescue and relief operations following the 8th October 2005 earthquake.
Mr Amyn Dossa, Chairman of FOCUS Pakistan, received the medal of recognition on behalf of FOCUS at a special investiture ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr (President House), Islamabad. Accompanying him was Mr Karim Nayani, Executive Officer of FOCUS Pakistan.
In his speech, President Musharraf explained that the Sitara-e-Eisaar is the highest award in Pakistan given for sacrifice and humanitarian relief work. The President honoured the fortitude, resolve and dignity of civil society organisations who mitigated the grief of those who has lost their own resources and loved ones.
In the aftermath of the earthquake, FOCUS extended its assistance in Islamabad through the immediate deployment of its Search and Rescue teams at the fallen Margalla Towers, and subsequently in a number of the worst affected surrounding regions.
Four helicopters from the Aga Khan Foundation were deployed in the relief effort.
In addition, over 1,500 volunteers assisted with the delivery of over a million kilograms of relief items to affected communities in the remotest parts Azad Jammu and Kashmir and North West Frontier Province. FOCUS also reached the most vulnerable communities in Battagram, Balakot, Bagh and Mansehra.
As part of the relief effort, FOCUS also provided basic first aid and transported over 1,000 casualties to health facilities for further attention.
Focus Humanitarian Assistance was established in Pakistan in 1998 and has since responded to over a dozen natural and man-made disasters by providing emergency relief especially in the mountainous areas of the Northern Areas, the North West Frontier Province and Sindh. As part of FOCUS’ commitment towards preparing communities to become disaster resilient, over 25,000 volunteers have been trained in search and rescue and community-based disaster risk management capabilities. FOCUS also continues to assist communities in proactively mitigating the challenges of natural disasters, including landslides, flooding and river erosion mitigation projects.
Focus Humanitarian Assistance is an international group of agencies established in Europe, North America and South Asia to complement the provision of emergency relief, principally in the developing world. It helps people in need reduce their dependence on humanitarian aid and facilitates their transition to sustainable self-reliant, long-term development. Focus Humanitarian Assistance is affiliated with the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of institutions working to improve opportunities and living conditions, for people of all faiths and origins, in specific regions of the developing world. Underlying the establishment of FOCUS by the Ismaili Muslim community is a history of successful initiatives to assist people struck by natural and man-made disasters in South and Central Asia, and Africa.
For more information, please contact:
Focus Humanitarian Assistance, Pakistan
A. Karim Nayani
Executive Officer, Focus Humanitarian Assistance, Pakistan
Block 14, Civic Centre, G-6, Islamabad
Tel: + 92 51 220 1018/1134
Fax: + 92 51220 1976
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