Saturday March 06, 2004 -- Muharram 14, 1425 A.H.
Dushanbe, Tajikistan: The World Bank and Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) have agreed to implement an innovative project aimed at reducing poverty in high-mountain areas around Lake Sarez. The US$ 2 million project is financed through the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) administered by the World Bank.
Hakim Feerasta, the Resident Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), noted that, "the JSDF project is innovative in that it links risk reduction with longer-term socio-economic development. This is critical for the communities which will be targeted in this project as they face the combined challenges of physical and socio-economic isolation as well as threats from natural hazards."
Referring to the work of FOCUS with other high-mountain communities in Central Asia, including in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Altaaf Hasham the Chief of Mission of FOCUS in Tajikistan, stated "this is an important project that can serve as an excellent model for future development initiatives in mountainous areas in a region where much of the population faces the combined challenges of natural hazards and socio-economic isolation."