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GLOBAL: Forced to flee
23 October 2008 (IRIN ), Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are forced to flee their homes to escape war or natural disasters. Displaced within their own country and having lost loved ones, livelihoods and belongings, they face terrible hardships.
WEST AFRICA: Taking on climate change as a region
23 October 2008 (IRIN ), Climate experts and ministers in West Africa have committed to coordinating national efforts to fight climate change, at the conclusion of an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meeting in Benin’s economic capital, Cotonou, on 22 October.
AFRICA: Red Cross broadens its range of assistance
22 October 2008 (IRIN ), African governments are failing to make proper use of local Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, despite their capacity to provide much-needed broad humanitarian support, including funding and local volunteers, the agencies concluded at a conference this week.
GLOBAL: Climate change's threat to water needs more study
21 October 2008 (IRIN ), Models to predict the impact of climate change on potable water and the management of wastewater are needed to deal with the expected increase in water-related illnesses as result of global warming, says a new policy brief by the United Nations University (UNU).
WEST AFRICA: Train the soldiers, protect the children
17 October 2008 (IRIN ), An international NGO is using cartoons to spell out to African soldiers the rights and wrongs of how to treat a child.
WEST AFRICA: Tiny fonio cereal may hold big answers in food crisis
17 October 2008 (IRIN ), Despite growing for centuries in some of the driest, toughest agricultural zones of West Africa, the fonio cereal has been neglected by most agricultural development programmes, according to the World Bank. But skyrocketing rice price increases that have slammed rice-dependent West Africa and declining profits in other cash crops like cotton have some local producers turning back to the ancient cereal.
WEST AFRICA: Cross-border FGM/C on the rise
17 October 2008 (IRIN ), Cross-border female genital mutilation / cutting (FGM/C) is on the rise in West Africa according to the UN, spurring the need to impose a region-wide law banning the practice, say experts.
GLOBAL: Donor response to food crisis inadequate, agencies say
16 October 2008 (IRIN ), Food security experts say international donors’ response to the world’s food crisis has been inadequate when compared to interventions to contain the global financial meltdown.
WEST AFRICA: Region among the world’s hungriest
14 October 2008 (IRIN ), The 2008 Global Hunger Index (GHI) says sub-Saharan African countries have the highest level of hunger in the world, with Niger, Sierra Leone and Liberia experiencing “extremely alarming levels of hunger,” however, this is still an improvement over 1990 levels.
WEST AFRICA: Voices from exile
13 October 2008 (IRIN ), The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, has appealed to international donors not to cut back on aid to humanitarian programmes amid a global financial crisis that has shuttered financial institutions in rich countries. At the conclusion of UNHCR’s annual meeting in Geneva from 6-10 October, Guterres said refugees remain the most vulnerable victims of the global economic fallout.

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