FOCUS, SCO in Tajikistan sign agreement for new phase of COSE project

03/08/2016 11:20
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, August 3, 2016, Asia-Plus -- Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS), an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), and the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) in Tajikistan have signed an agreement to implement Phase II of the project ‘Creating Opportunities in a Safe Environment (COSE)’, Fostering Self-Sustained and Resilient Communities,” a 36 month project, which will be co-funded by the Swiss Government.

According to FOCUS in Tajikistan, the project directly and indirectly will enhance community disaster preparedness levels of approximately 50,000 people in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO).  It will be implemented by FOCUS, the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP) and Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Tajikistan. 

The project will introduce new and innovative approaches to promoting and enabling sustainable livelihood opportunities and improve communities’ resilience to natural disasters in Khorog, Shugnan and Roshtqala districts of the GBAO.  COSE II will make communities more resilient to disasters, through enhanced risk assessment techniques, and will work with communities and local government on hazard risk management initiatives to protect against the adverse impact of natural disasters.  To enable disaster risk reduction, FOCUS and MSDSP will work with communities and government authorities throughout the project promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, effective land use planning, sustainable pasture, livestock, and land management for effective disaster risk reduction.  

Phase II of Creating Opportunities in a Safe Environment builds upon the successful results of previous partnerships with the Government of Switzerland, FOCUS and MSDSP. This includes the implementation of COSE I, which helped to integrate disaster risk management elements into community based development planning across GBAO, and among other results led to the increased resilience of a quarter of all communities (approximately 75,500 people) in GBAO.

FOCUS is an international disaster management and emergency response agency providing relief and support services during natural and man-made disasters, primarily in the developing world.  It is established in Europe, North America, Central and South Asia and helps people in need reduce their dependence on humanitarian aid.  Additionally, it facilitates community transition to sustainable, self-reliant, long-term development.  FOCUS is an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of institutions working to improve opportunities and living conditions for people of all faiths and origins in specific regions of the developing world.

The Government of Switzerland is represented in Tajikistan by a Cooperation Office that was established at the end of 1998.  The Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan monitors the implementation of the Swiss-funded projects in Tajikistan, which are coordinated by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The overall goal of the Government of Switzerland supported programs in Tajikistan is to contribute to poverty alleviation, facilitation of sustainable growth, equitable access to good quality public services and transition towards pluralistic and economically viable state.  Switzerland partners with the Government of Tajikistan and works together with different national and international agencies.  

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