Dushanbe and Khatlon Province, Tajikistan, 12 April 2018 - The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, in partnership with the Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defence under the Government of Tajikistan, UNHCR, other UN Agencies, government and humanitarian partners conducted a large-scale disaster simulation exercise to respond to an emergency situation related to massive influx of refugees.
The simulation exercise was the first of its kind in Tajikistan, and brought together stakeholders in a people-centred and action-focused scenario, to test emergency response capabilities and to strengthen coordination among the agencies, build capacity and coordination skills for future responses, and identify areas in which there are gaps. The scenario tested the Government and agencies response skills through a real time unfolding series of events, with the responders split over three sites, a National Emergency Operations Centre in the capital city of Dushanbe, a Regional Emergency Operations Centre in Bokhtar city, and a field site 50 km from the regional EOC in Jalolidinni Balki, which served as the hosting and registration site for the refugees.
The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat deployed dedicated and trained Emergency Management staff, a professionally trained Search and Rescue Team, resources including 20 tents donated by the Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan, mobile antenna to provide cellular network and internet, Non Food Items, hygiene kits, and staffed an Emergency Operations Centre to support the National Emergency Response Centre. AKAH worked in close partnership with the government actors and international community to coordinate a timely professional response to all aspects of the simulation exercise. The simulation exercise provided an opportunity for AKAH to put into practise the Memorandums of Understanding that have been signed with UNHCR, WFP and other UN Agencies, and AKAH’s longstanding close partnerships with the Government Emergency Response Mechanism. The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat will continue to work in close coordination with the Government of Tajikistan and the international community to address any gaps identified during the simulation exercise, and to continue to implement its mandate to build institutional and community resilience and emergency management capacity in Tajikistan.