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MADAGASCAR: Cyclones, reduced aid compound malnutrition
26 June 2012 (IRIN ), The eastern Madagascan coastal town of Brickaville in Atsinanana region - ravaged by Cyclone Giovanna earlier this year - provided a refuge of sorts for Edwige Solo and her emaciated children fleeing the aftermath of rural devastation caused by the same storm.
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.
MADAGASCAR: A decaying health sector
25 May 2012 (IRIN ), The Basic Health Centre or Centre de Santé de Base (CSB) II in Anjalajala, near Antsohihy, the capital of Madagascar's northern Sofia Region, is housed in a recently renovated building and its status as a CSB II promises the availability of a trained doctor. But the doctor left for Antananarivo, the capital, in 2002 and has not been replaced, and whenever the remaining nurse is absent, services stop.
MADAGASCAR: Low HIV prevalence has its own challenges
21 May 2012 (IRIN ), Madagascar has a low level of HIV prevalence, and managing its AIDS programme should present no major difficulties. But the apparent advantage of a low infection rate, combined with the ongoing political crisis, has brought its own challenges.
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.
MADAGASCAR: Peer pressure to stop teen pregnancy
4 May 2012 (IRIN ), Daughters as young as 12 in the villages surrounding Antsohihy, the capital of Sofia Region, in Madagascar's remote, traditional north, often suffer the harmful consequences of falling pregnant and giving birth too young when parents accept zebus (cattle) or cash as a dowry.
MALAWI: Without land reform, small farmers become "trespassers"
26 April 2012 (IRIN ), Dorothy Dyton, her husband and seven children used to make a living farming just over a hectare near the town of Bangula in southern Malawi’s Chikhwawa District.
MADAGASCAR: Small steps towards land reform
13 April 2012 (IRIN ), When officials asked everybody in the commune (sub-district) of Talata in Madagascar's central Amoron'i Mania region to register their land in 2007, it was to be the beginning of a national programme of far-reaching and much needed land reforms aimed at recognizing local land rights and decentralizing land management. But local authorities had made little progress before the 2009 political crisis, branded a coup by the international community, stalled the process.
MADAGASCAR: Addressing toilet taboos to improve sanitation
23 March 2012 (IRIN ), In Madagascar's east coast city of Tamatave, a local taboo against having a toilet in your house or on your land has complicated the task of trying to improve the region's dire sanitation situation.

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