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MADAGASCAR: Legal aid clinics help rural women
22 December 2011 (IRIN ), Legal aid clinics are playing an important role during Madagascar's current political and economic crisis, especially for poverty-hit rural women who are under-served by the country's ailing judicial system.
SOUTHERN AFRICA: Counter-trafficking measures trail commitments
12 December 2011 (IRIN ), At any given time, an estimated 130,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa are engaged in forced labour as a result of trafficking. It is a fraction of the global figure, which the International Labour Organization (ILO) puts at 2.5 million, but this highly lucrative and concealed crime is on the rise in Africa and traffickers usually operate with impunity.
CLIMATE CHANGE: Durban or bust - the Trans-African Caravan of Hope
2 December 2011 (IRIN ), Brandishing a plea for developed countries to make good their promises to reduce carbon emissions, 300 farmers, youths and activists took the scenic route to the COP17 conference in Durban, travelling more than 7,000km from Burundi in 17 days, through 10 eastern and southern African countries, aboard a convoy of buses draped in various national flags.
MADAGASCAR: Donors deliver despite sanctions
30 November 2011 (IRIN ), After more than two years of political crisis, Madagascar finally appears to be moving towards the restoration of democracy. A new prime minister has been appointed, and elections are planned for 2012. Donors who suspended aid to the impoverished island nation are watching these developments closely.
AFRICA: Sub-Saharan sanitation targets “two centuries away”
18 November 2011 (IRIN ), It will take two centuries for sub-Saharan Africa to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation, according to NGO WaterAid, which calls on national leaders to commit 3.5 percent of their annual budget to the sector.
MADAGASCAR: Twins taboo splits a community
3 November 2011 (IRIN ), A centuries old practice of putting newborn twins up for adoption is dividing residents in the Madagascan coastal town of Mananjary as surely as the siblings are separated from their parents. It is said that twins bring bad luck and violence to parents and the community.
FOOD: Rumpus over GM food aid
18 October 2011 (IRIN ), Genetically modified (GM) food aid bound for Africa has long been a bone of contention among governments, scientists, activists, consumers and aid workers.
MADAGASCAR: Women tackle population growth
12 October 2011 (IRIN ), Daniel Soadava and Samoela Razafindramboho are known as "the mean women" in Antalaha, a small town on the east coast of Madagascar. "Men complain that we are always saying bad things about them," they laugh.
MADAGASCAR: Leprosy making a comeback
26 September 2011 (IRIN ), Mamysoa realized she had a problem after she stepped too close to the fire. “I burned my foot quite badly, but it hardly hurt at all,” she recalled. The 20-year-old housekeeper recently became one of five new cases of leprosy that Abdoul Zamandrahengo detects every month from his tiny public clinic in Antalaha, a small town on Madagascar’s east coast.
MADAGASCAR: Rice production slips again
9 September 2011 (IRIN ), Production of Madagascar’s staple, rice, is expected to be down 10 percent on last year and slip by 400,000 tons, according to preliminary findings by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

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