FOCUS is an international group of agencies that complements the provision of emergency relief, principally in the developing world. It helps people in need reduce their dependence on humanitarian aid and facilitates their transition to sustainable self-reliant, long-term development. Focus Humanitarian Assistance is affiliated with 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.
FOCUS continues to assist the most vulnerable mountain communities in the province of Badakhshan in north-eastern Afghanistan through relief and recovery support in education, health, nutrition and livelihoods. Badakhshan is one of the most remote and least developed provinces of Afghanistan and has a history of precarious economic situations with decades of food insecurity.
FOCUS distributed, in collaboration with Aga Khan Foundation USA and the United States Department of Agriculture, over 1,000,000 litres of milk to schools in Afghan Badakhshan. In addition, the World Food Programme (WFP) and FOCUS distributed meals to hospital patients and staff in Badakhshan and Bamiyan.
FOCUS provided supplementary nutritional rations on a monthly basis to over 30,000 children. This was complemented by the establishment of immunisation centres and the provision of treatment for the acutely malnourished under a programme supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
In Badakshan, where almost no other relief organisation has been working, FOCUS distributed over 10,000 tonnes of food, again, primarily to vulnerable populations in high altitude areas dependent upon rain-fed agriculture.
Almost all of this food was used to pay labour for building over 1,600 km of irrigation channels, 700 km of roads and the rehabilitation of schools and health clinics.
As an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network, FOCUS hopes to enable as swift a transition as is possible into long-term development initiatives of the type that the Network has already successfully launched in similar high-mountain environments in Tajikistan and Northern Pakistan.