Afghanistan is highly prone to multiple natural disasters including earthquakes, landslides, flooding, and avalanches. Earthquakes occur frequently, particularly in the mountainous north and north-eastern areas of the country, and often trigger landslides. Floods are common in the spring when snow begins to melt and rainfall is heavy. Many of the at-risk communities are located in remote areas, and disaster relief efforts are make more difficult by the volatile security situation. Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) has been active in Afghanistan since 1996, when it was set up to respond to the acute food shortages caused by the ongoing conflict.