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MADAGASCAR: Stunted children means stunted lives
23 February 2012 (IRIN ), At the age of four, Henintsoa Rakotoarimanana weighs just 10kg and, at a height of 84cm, is not much larger than a baby. Fed on rice and cassava since he was born, he is now receiving treatment for malnutrition at Maharodaza Nutrition Centre in Manjakandriana, about 30km from Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo.
MADAGASCAR: Cyclone Giovanna struck with little warning
20 February 2012 (IRIN ), In a cyclone-prone country like Madagascar, which feels the force of about 60 percent of the storms that form over the Indian Ocean every year, being prepared for disaster makes all the difference.
MADAGASCAR: Cyclone kills at least 10 people
15 February 2012 (IRIN ), At least 10 people have died after Cyclone Giovanna struck Madagascar but details of its impact on the regions which bore the brunt of the category-four tropical storm remain sketchy, as communications and electricity supplies have been cut.
MADAGASCAR: Cyclone expected in high population areas
13 February 2012 (IRIN ), A category four tropical storm, Cyclone Giovanna, is expected to make landfall on 14 February close to the Madagascan east coast town of Toamasina and thereafter head for the capital Antananarivo.
MADAGASCAR: The “less is more” philosophy of rice production
31 January 2012 (IRIN ), Ernest Rakotoarivony, 45, was teased by some members of the Talata community, a small town 30km north of Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo, after breaking with traditional rice cultivation methods and employing a technique taught to him by a Jesuit priest.
MADAGASCAR: Illegal rosewood trade continues
19 January 2012 (IRIN ), Environmentalists and the international community are trying to find ways of limiting the damage caused by an explosion in the illegal logging of precious hardwoods in Madagascar since a major political crisis began there nearly three years ago.
SOUTHERN AFRICA: Pick of the year 2011
29 December 2011 (IRIN ), In 2011 the global economic crisis combined with poor governance, financial mismanagement and unpredictable rainfall to push several southern African countries to the point of crisis. Others responded to rising unemployment and increased pressure on national budgets by hardening their attitude towards immigrants and closing their borders to asylum-seekers. IRIN covered developments from all over the region, but the following stories consistently grabbed headlines:
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.

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