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PRESS RELEASE: IRIN humanitarian news service to spin off from the UN
20 November 2014 (IRIN ), After nearly 20 years as part of the United Nations, the humanitarian news service IRIN is spinning off to become an independent non-profit media venture, with the support of a major private donor
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.
Lake Malawi’s dwindling fish stocks threaten livelihoods
7 November 2014 (IRIN ), A combination of overfishing and the use of illegal fishing gear has seen fish stocks in Lake Malawi dwindle to the point that local people's livelihoods and food security are now under threat.
How to boost food production in Africa
15 September 2014 (IRIN ), Smallholder farmers, who hold over 80 percent of all farms in sub-Saharan Africa, are struggling to adapt to rapidly rising temperature and erratic rains, according to the 2014 Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR), released on 3 September in Addis Ababa.
Breaking the poverty trap – the power of cash grants
10 July 2014 (IRIN ), A cash injection of as little as US$12 per month for an impoverished family could determine whether a child eats properly or goes to school or not. With cash transfer programmes around the world now having a profound impact on the lives of poor people, the debate is less about whether to implement them than how to do so.
New thinking needed on food aid for refugees in Africa
7 July 2014 (IRIN ), The World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have launched an urgent appeal to address a funding shortfall that has already resulted in food ration cuts for a third of all African refugees. As of mid-June, nearly 800,000 refugees in 22 African countries have seen their monthly food allocations reduced, most of them by more than half.
Genome breakthrough could help fight against sleeping sickness
28 May 2014 (IRIN ), Scientists have welcomed the development of genome sequence data on the tsetse fly, the vector responsible for the transmission of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), commonly known as sleeping sickness. They say it could be instrumental in devising strategies to eradicate the fly and reduce deaths and the spread of other diseases associated with it.
Melding science and tradition to tackle climate change
23 May 2014 (IRIN ), In the latest of several partnerships between tradition and modern science aimed at improving resilience to climate change, pastoralists and meteorologists in Tanzania are working together to produce weather forecasts better suited to farmers.
Remittance rip-offs
22 April 2014 (IRIN ), All over the world migrant workers are sending money home to their families. The money pays hospital bills and school fees, buys land, builds houses and sets up small businesses. The cash goes from the US back to Mexico, from the Gulf back to India, from the UK back to Somalia, and from South Africa back to Malawi, Zimbabwe and the rest of southern Africa.
Fleeing fighting in Mozambique to uncertain future in Malawi
4 March 2014 (IRIN ), Since mid-January, an estimated 2,000 people have fled fighting between the government and former rebels in Mozambique, spilling into neighbouring Malawi, but they are yet to receive assistance as the Malawian government and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) remain in disagreement about their status as asylum seekers.
Long road to an African rapid reaction force
21 February 2014 (IRIN ), The African Union (AU) is rethinking how it can most effectively deploy military forces to tackle the continent’s crises.
Breaking the cycle of youth unemployment, poverty
10 February 2014 (IRIN ), Youth unemployment and underemployment are among the main barriers to development in West Africa, say experts. Not only does the exclusion of young people from the labour force perpetuate generational cycles of poverty, it also breaks down social cohesion and can be associated with higher levels of crime and violence among idle youth.
Crop-eating pests plague southern African farmers
7 February 2014 (IRIN ), The rainy season, always welcome in often dry southern Africa, has brought with it favourable breeding conditions for army worms and red locusts. The crop-eating pests are contributing to the woes of subsistence farmers already struggling to recover from setbacks in the last farming cycle.
Helping Africa’s urban poor gain from modernization
4 February 2014 (IRIN ), Plans to reshape and modernize African cities, in part driven by investment, architecture and construction companies seeking new markets, could deepen existing social inequalities, according to recent research. But these development plans could also benefit the poor if governments are responsive to the needs of their citizens, argue analysts.
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.
Severe water shortages in Malawi
12 December 2013 (IRIN ), Parts of Malawi, including large parts of the northern region, have not received rain since February 2013 and are now experiencing severe water shortages. Women in the affected areas are leaving their homes in the early hours of the morning and walking up to 40 minutes to fetch water from the closest source.
Is Africa ready for GM?
27 November 2013 (IRIN ), Even as food insecurity continues to afflict impoverished and disaster-affected populations around the continent, African policymakers and consumers remain deeply divided over the potential harms and benefits of genetically modified (GM) foods, which advocates say could greatly improve yields and nutrition.
Senegal on the frontline of the battle with Big Tobacco
19 November 2013 (IRIN ), Djité Sekou, 32, smokes as he passes his nights guarding one of the many high-rise apartment buildings in Dakar, Senegal. It has been eight years since his first cigarette - a Monte Carlo from Morocco - and when money is available he goes through 20 to 30 per day. It is an addiction that can cost him up to a quarter of his monthly income.
Government corruption “cripples” Malawi's health sector
24 October 2013 (IRIN ), Extensive looting of public funds by government officials in Malawi has dangerously undermined the country’s public health sector, with hundreds of public health workers striking in recent weeks to protest late payments of their September salaries.
Backlash against Malawian migrants in Tanzania
1 October 2013 (IRIN ), An official crackdown on undocumented migrants in Tanzania has sparked a wave of attacks against Malawians living there, causing many to flee for home. In recent weeks, hundreds of returnees, some still recovering from the beatings they received, have been stranded near Malawi's northern border with Tanzania without funds to continue their journey home.

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