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AID POLICY: Money in a hurry
30 August 2012 (IRIN ), A new quick-disbursing humanitarian funding facility is being used for the first time to help tackle a serious cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone, where more than 220 people have died and the authorities have declared a national emergency.
GUINEA: Deadlock over parliamentary elections
29 August 2012 (IRIN ), Political battles have intensified in Guinea after the government thwarted an opposition rally to demand free parliamentary elections, raising fears that a return to stability and development after years of dictatorship and misrule could be in jeopardy.
WEST AFRICA: Cleaner toilets to save slums from cholera
16 August 2012 (IRIN ), Aid agencies are scrambling to treat thousands of cholera patients in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, where the number of infections is mounting by over 250 per day. Most patients are from the city’s various urban slums, where open defecation is rife, toilets are rare, sewage is improperly disposed of, and awareness of cholera is very low. Water and sanitation specialists say unless these problems are addressed, cholera will continue to flourish both in Sierra Leone and throughout West Africa.
WEST AFRICA: Cholera - what's working?
10 July 2012 (IRIN ), After years of cyclical cholera outbreaks in West Africa, water and sanitation standards are still notoriously low in most of the affected countries, but in some areas the cholera response is working better now than in the past. IRIN spoke to governments and aid agencies about innovations and traditional wisdom for preventing cholera.
AFRICA: Donor fatigue forces WFP to cut refugee rations
19 June 2012 (IRIN ), The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has halved food rations to refugees living in camps in at least four African countries citing a funding shortfall.
REFUGEES: Moving out of the shadows
31 May 2012 (IRIN ), When night falls in the Dadaab refugee complex in eastern Kenya, nearly half a million refugees are plunged into darkness. The lack of light robs schoolchildren of the possibility of studying and provides perfect cover for thieves and rapists.
FOOD: Power to the people!
15 May 2012 (IRIN ), The UN Development Programme (UNDP) launched its first Africa Human Development Report today, stressing food security as a means to a better quality of life for all.
CLIMATE CHANGE: Farmers and forecasts
2 April 2012 (IRIN ), Unpredictable rainfall in parts of Côte d’Ivoire cost some farmers over half of their harvest in 2011 producers told IRIN, but, armed with more knowledge about how to get weather reports and interpret them, they might still have been able to boost their output, say agricultural specialists.
GUINEA: Charging of top army official makes waves
14 February 2012 (IRIN ), “This simply doesn’t happen in Guinea,” a civilian in the capital, Conakry, said of the 8th February decision by judges to charge a top army official for alleged involvement in crimes against civilians. Guineans and rights experts say the move is an opening up to the rule of law, but the country must overcome forces that have long fed impunity.
WEST AFRICA: Call for more coordinated approach to child protection
4 January 2012 (IRIN ), A new report on child migration in West Africa says thousands of children are being sold, exchanged or transported out of their communities each year in violation of internationally-recognized rights of the child, and calls on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to persuade governments to better protect these children.

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