More than one million people have benefited from the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) Pakistan project, which was a gold prize winner at the World Habitat Awards that are organised by the United Nations housing agency (UN-Habitat) for a project that combines satellite images, mapping technologies and the local knowledge of villagers to help build climate-proof settlements in disaster-prone areas of Pakistan. AKAH has trained about 50,000 residents to better protect their villages from disasters in the mountainous northern areas which are vulnerable to earthquakes, floods and environmental degradation, and are home to some of the poorest communities.
Through Thrive Tajikistan: Partnership for Socio-Economic Development, a programme of the Aga Khan Foundation in partnership with USAID, Roziyamo and her team received a grant and the training to produce face masks according to international quality standards and materials like fabric, threads and elastic bands. Thrive Tajikistan also helped Roziyamo get a license from the Government of Tajikistan to sell the masks they produce to the general public. Thrive Tajikistan partners with communities across 16 districts in GBAO and Khatlon province along Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan. The programme helps people improve their quality of life by catalyzing small and growing businesses, improving access to financial services and strengthening local governance.
In Tanzania, health experts and stakeholders have called for more coordinated efforts to ensure that infants are exclusively breastfed in their first six months after birth. A pediatrician and breastfeeding specialist from the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Dr Mariam Noorani, highlighted several challenges that thwart exclusive breastfeeding in the country. "There is widespread knowledge about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and most mothers would wish to exclusively breastfeed. However, there are many challenges that families face that may result in the baby not being able to complete exclusive breastfeeding," she noted.
On 24 November, His Highness reaffirmed his enduring commitment to a peaceful and pluralistic Afghanistan. In a statement delivered at the virtually held 2020 Afghanistan Conference, His Highness noted that as the country entered into a new period of transition, it would need the contribution of all of its people to address their common challenges: rising poverty, climate disruption, an unforgiving pandemic. "It will need all their talents to build an inclusive future with more opportunities, requiring more education, more knowledge, more private initiative. In these endeavors, AKDN is, and will remain, a steadfast partner, said His Highness, emphasizing that AKDN will maintain the breadth of its work in all sectors from education, healthcare and cultural restoration, as well as in economic development.
The Aga Khan Master Musicians, a six-person ensemble brought together by the Aga Khan Music Programme to explore how musical innovation can contribute to the revitalisation of cultural heritage, made its North American debut last week in three specially-produced concert films commissioned and broadcast by prestigious arts presenters: Hopkins Centre for the Arts at Dartmouth College (10 November), the Aga Khan Museum (13 November), and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Asian Art (14 November). Originally scheduled as live events, the concerts were moved online after the pandemic shut down concert halls around the world.