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Who celebrity advocates are really targeting. And it’s not you.
13 February 2015 (IRIN ), In recent years, aid agencies have increasingly used celebrities to raise awareness and money for their causes. There’s just one problem: It doesn’t actually work.
An ambitious plan to end statelessness
7 November 2014 (IRIN ), It is now 60 years since stateless people received recognition in international law, and the UN has two conventions (1954 and 1961) dedicated to their protection and the regularization of their situation. Yet an estimated 10 million people worldwide still suffer the problems and indignities of having no nationality.
Concern over World Bank proposals to roll back safeguards for indigenous people
3 September 2014 (IRIN ), Activists warn of a harmful regression in the World Bank's safeguard policies, claiming that proposed changes being considered this autumn could weaken the rights of indigenous people, and others in danger of displacement and abuse as a result of Bank-funded development projects.
Laos “land grabs” drive subsistence farmers into deeper poverty
22 May 2014 (IRIN ), "Land grabs" in Laos are driving poor farmers, including ethnic minorities, off their land, away from livelihoods they know and into further poverty, activists and experts say.
More work on HIV in Laos needed
12 March 2014 (IRIN ), Health officials say more work is needed to fight HIV/AIDS in Laos, which has an over-reliance on foreign donors and lack of government support, as well as limited treatment coverage and a widespread gap of awareness and testing.
Laos’s urban-rural WASH divide
5 March 2014 (IRIN ), Laos has been growing at 8 percent a year over the past decade but rural areas, where most people still live, are being left behind in terms of access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, health experts warn.
Little help for UXO victims in Laos
27 February 2014 (IRIN ), Around 25 percent of villages in Laos are contaminated by unexploded ordnance (UXOs), mainly from US bombing missions between 1964 and 1973, according to the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme, and while UXO casualties have fallen sharply in recent years there is little support for UXO victims, whose injuries can drastically affect their families.
Stepping up the fight against drug-resistant malaria in SE Asia
20 February 2014 (IRIN ), Efforts are being scaled up to stem a further spread of drug-resistant malaria in Southeast Asia. “The emergence of resistance… threatens worldwide malaria control and treatment since there is no alternative to this drug if its efficacy decreases further and the resistance spreads outside the region,” wrote the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which is providing some US$150 million for malaria prevention and elimination programmes in the Greater Mekong sub-region within the next two years.
Connectivity and emerging infectious diseases in Southeast Asia
3 February 2014 (IRIN ), Experts sometimes describe Southeast Asia as a “hotspot” for emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) because several major outbreaks have started in this region. Now, with unprecedented levels of connection between animals and people through urbanization, and of people with other people through increased air travel, scientists say the threat level for new diseases is high.
Analysis: Turning to ancient diets to alleviate modern ills
23 January 2014 (IRIN ), Unprecedented levels of chronic non-communicable diseases are prompting health experts and indigenous activists to highlight a need to revert to the diets of our ancestors to regain lost nutrients. This would also assist in improving society's relationship with the earth, and to restoring both human and environmental health.
Life-saving hepatitis C drug approved, but cost is high
23 December 2013 (IRIN ), Following approvals in the US and Europe this month of a new drug to treat hepatitis C, activists are pushing for the medication to be made available in poor countries.
Summit spotlights Asia’s food and nutrition security
25 November 2013 (IRIN ), Representatives of the UN, governments, NGOs and private sector farming are expected to gather in Bangkok, Thailand, on 26 November for a two-day forum on how to fill the Asia-Pacific’s growing food demands and nutrition gaps in a region more devastated by natural disasters than any other worldwide.
Compulsory detention for drug use undermines treatment in Laos
11 October 2013 (IRIN ), Laos - located between thriving opium and methamphetamine producers in Myanmar and a reported consumer base of more than two million drug users in China - has sought to limit the impact of drug transit, use and production on its population. But the government’s policies, which harshly penalize drug use, are hampering efforts to treat addiction, say health researchers.
Asia-Pacific trade deal will not hinder access to cheap drugs, says US
9 October 2013 (IRIN ), A wide-ranging Asia-Pacific free trade agreement will not hinder access to affordable medication, the US commerce secretary said on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit that concluded on 8 October in Bali, Indonesia.
Analysis: Coping with volatile weather in Laos
30 September 2013 (IRIN ), The frequent but low-impact disasters in Laos, home to just 6.1 million inhabitants, are seldom in the limelight compared with neighbouring flood-prone Thailand to the west, cyclone-hit Myanmar in the northwest, and earthquake-susceptible China to the north.
Massive groundwater pumping in Asia may poison millions - study
12 September 2013 (IRIN ), Millions of people in South and Southeast Asia may be at risk of arsenic poisoning as massive pumping of groundwater pushes tainted water closer to uncontaminated aquifers, scientists warned in a new study published in the journal Nature.
Analysis: Reproductive healthcare lags in Laos
11 September 2013 (IRIN ), Health experts are reviewing a years-long effort to reverse a deadly trend for mothers and newborns in Laos, which has the highest death rate in Southeast Asia for both groups. Offering free maternal and child health care since 2011 and doubling health expenditures in the past decade have helped, but more is needed to reduce preventable deaths, say experts.
Analysis: As Laos prospers, child malnutrition persists
29 August 2013 (IRIN ), Economic growth in Laos is propelling the country towards achieving middle income status by 2020, yet chronic malnutrition among children under five years old remains a pervasive challenge, experts say.
Analysis: Southeast Asia slowly accepting harm reduction
5 July 2013 (IRIN ), Southeast Asia is slowly embracing harm reduction in an effort to curb illicit drug use and HIV/AIDS, but huge obstacles remain, experts say.
Analysis: New opium elimination plan in Myanmar
28 June 2013 (IRIN ), A recent peace initiative in Myanmar’s eastern Shan State could play a key role in poppy eradication in a country which is the world’s second largest opium producer, experts say.

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