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Will Somalia get enough rain this year?
28 March 2013 (IRIN ), Parts of southern Somalia are yet to recover from the battering they took in 2010-2011, when severe drought followed excessive rain, and now the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) says insufficient rain may fall in the coming months. "We are concerned - our forecast shows that there is 80 percent probability that rains could trend from normal to below normal across Somalia," said Gideon Galu, a regional FEWS NET scientist based in Africa.
Briefing: In Somalia, relative peace belies rocky road ahead
26 March 2013 (IRIN ), Since the August 2011 withdrawal of Al-Shabab insurgents from the Somali capital, Mogadishu, security has improved, allowing for the gradual resumption of government functions. But sporadic suicide attacks, conflict-related population displacement and socio-economic problems persist, exemplifying some of the daunting challenges still ahead.
New plan to ensure universal healthcare in Somalia
22 March 2013 (IRIN ), Every Somali citizen will have access to basic healthcare by 2016 if a new, government-led strategic plan achieves its aims.
Briefing: The risks and rewards of easing Somalia's arms embargo
21 March 2013 (IRIN ), Does Somalia, which has been beset by civil war and insurgency for more than two decades, need more weapons? Earlier this month the Security Council eased a long-standing arms embargo, allowing a newly-installed and internationally-recognized government to import light arms for a period of 12 months. The move, according to proponents, will give poorly-equipped security forces a much-needed edge over the Islamist Al-Shabab group, but critics warn that the new imports could end up in the hands of insurgency and increase the risk of human rights abuses. This briefing explores the pros and cons of the Security Council resolution.
Water scarcity affects Somaliland households
19 March 2013 (IRIN ), Hundreds of households in the disputed Sool area of the self-declared republic of Somaliland are facing a water shortage following poor rains, say officials.
Somali government to relocate IDPs, welcome returning refugees
27 February 2013 (IRIN ), The Somali government plans to relocate thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) currently living in Mogadishu to camps on the outskirts of the city, but there are concerns over inadequate government capacity as well as security and access to services in the proposed relocation areas.
African migrants pay high prices to send money home
27 February 2013 (IRIN ), New data from the World Bank has revealed that African migrants pay more to send money home to their families than any other migrant group in the world.
The use and abuse of humanitarian principle
19 February 2013 (IRIN ), Following the 9/11 attacks and the launch of the Global War on Terror, many humanitarian policy wonks spoke of a new era of heightened aid instrumentalization - that is the use of humanitarian action or rhetoric as a tool to pursue political, security, development, economic, or other non-humanitarian goals, which would muddy humanitarian principles and constrain access to those in need.
With increased security, healthcare improves in Somalia
5 February 2013 (IRIN ), With security improved following the retreat of Al-Shabab insurgents from urban areas of south and central Somalia, aid agencies have increased health services and expanded emergency healthcare, reaching previously inaccessible areas.
Landmine danger persists in Somalia
1 February 2013 (IRIN ), Thousands of landmines and other unexploded ordnance (UXO) scattered in parts of Somalia over past decades of conflict are emerging as a threat to the relative security now being enjoyed there, with inadequate demining expertise posing a challenge, say officials.

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