Islamabad, Pakistan, 20 January 2017 - The Department of Emergency Management (formerly FOCUS) of the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program initiated a project “Creating Resilient Communities in Shimshal Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan”. The project, which aims to build resilience against the threat of glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) events in Shimshal valley, will build the capacity of community members in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM).
The project also aims to conduct hazard and risk assessment of four glaciers in the valley and improve risk anticipation through the establishment of an Early Warning System (EWS). The proposed Early Warning System will be linked with the existing Early Warning Centre (EWC) in Gilgit to monitor potential risk in the GLOF areas, which will not only benefit the Shimshal valley but many other villages located along the Hunza river downstream.
“Our aim is to create safer habitat where communities can see a future for themselves,” said Nawab Ali Khan, Chief Executive Officer, AKAH. “The main goal of the integration of the programmes of FOCUS and Aga Khan Planning and Building Service Pakistan (AKPBS,P) into AKAH is to create resilient and sustainable communities. Such partnerships will help in achieving this goal.”
AKAH has so far trained more than 36,000 volunteers for disaster response and management across Pakistan. It is the recipient of the Sitara-i-Eisaar award conferred by the government of Pakistan in recognition of its humanitarian assistance during the 2005 Kashmir Earthquake. The “Creating Resilient Communities in Shimshal Valley” project is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), which brings together a number of activities, including Focus Humanitarian Assistance, the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services and the Aga Khan Development Network is Disaster Risk Management Initiative, focuses on preparing for both sudden and slow-onset disasters. 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. Initially, priority areas of AKAH will include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic and India.
In addition to the Sitara-e-Eisaar, the constituent programmes of the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat have won a number of other awards, including: 2015 Times of India Social Impact Award (India); 2012 Zayed Energy Prize (Abu Dhabi); 2011 Ashden Award (UK); 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); 2005 ALCAN Prize for Sustainability (Canada); and 2006 World Habitat Award (UK).
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USAID/Pakistan has, in cooperation with the USAID Office of Inspector General, established the Anti-Fraud Hotline to provide an avenue for the reporting of fraud, waste, and abuse which may be associated with USAID funded projects in Pakistan. Complaints are handled with complete confidentiality and individuals are encouraged to report when corruption, fraud, waste or abuse may exist in the USAID/Pakistan projects. Reports can be filed anonymously via the easy-to-use Hotline (toll free number 0800 84700); e-mail at email@example.com; fax at 021-35390410; postal address at 5-C, 2nd Floor Khayban-e-Ittehad, Phase VII, DHA, Karachi, Pakistan; and on the website www.anti-fraudhotline.com.
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