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Focus to rehabilitate schools in Madagascar following tropical cyclone

Antananarivo, Madagascar, 20 February 2015 – Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS), an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network, is to support the rehabilitation of schools damaged by Tropical Cyclone Chezda. Since early January, Madagascar has experienced continuous heavy rainfall stemming from tropical Cyclone Bansi, which led to flooding across the country. The capital, Antananarivo, was one of the most affected areas. When Tropical Cyclone Chedza made landfall on the south-western part of the country (including Antananarivo) on January 16, a pump station responsible for the disposal of the rain and flood water collapsed, resulting in the levels of surrounding rivers to increase even further. A red alert was issued. The persistent heavy rainfall caused widespread destruction in central (Analamanga region), southern (Vatovavy Fitovinany and Atsimo Atsinanana) and western (Menabe region) parts of the island. According to preliminary assessments by the Malagasy Red Cross, an estimated 80,000 people remain affected. In addition, over 200,000 people have been forced into temporary shelter across the country, including 16,000 in Antananarivo, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). In total, approximately, 68 people have lost their lives as a result of the floods (UNOCHA). Following various assessments the restoration of some 200 schools that were damaged by these events was identified as a key priority. “Getting school children back into their classrooms as quickly as possible is critical in minimising the impact on them post any disaster. The repair of schools was also identified as a priority by the government as it is for FOCUS, an affiliate of the AKDN. As such we are delighted to be working closely with the government in this sector,” said Sultanaly Hassim, President, Ismaili Council for Malagasy Republic. FOCUS is therefore working with the Ministry of Education to contribute towards the rehabilitation of a number of schools across the country. For further information, please contact: Sultanaly Hassim President, Ismaili Council for Malagasy Republic Telephone: 00 261-33 11 217 42 E-mail: sltm@moov.mg Sophia Dawood Global Communications Officer Focus Humanitarian Assistance Telephone: +1 416 423 7988 x 202 E-mail: sophia.dawood@focushumanitarian.org NOTES Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) is an international crisis response and disaster risk management agency. FOCUS provides emergency relief to communities suffering from natural disasters or man-made crises. FOCUS implements disaster risk reduction programmes in areas vulnerable to natural hazards and engages in resettlement and reintegration programmes for populations displaced by civil instability or conflict. It was founded by the Ismaili Muslim community in Canada in 1994 and today has offices in Europe, Central and South Asia and North America. FOCUS is an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). FOCUS provides disaster risk management programs and emergency humanitarian relief to vulnerable communities primarily in the developing world and endeavors to build local community capacity and foster an enhanced state of disaster resilience. The Aga Khan Development Network is a group of private, international, non-denominational agencies working to improve living conditions and opportunities for people in specific regions of the developing world. The Network’s organizations have individual mandates that range from the fields of health and education to architecture, rural development and the promotion of private-sector enterprise. Together they collaborate in working towards a common goal – to build institutions and programs that can respond to the challenges of social, economic and cultural change on an ongoing basis. www.akdn.org