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Southern Africa’s food crisis in numbers
28 January 2016 (IRIN ), Southern Africa is facing the threat of extensive crop failures this year as a result of record low rainfall in a region in which 29 million people already don't have reliable access to enough affordable and nutritious food.
An unwanted guest: El Niño and Africa in 2016
23 December 2015 (IRIN ), El Niño is the largely unwanted Christmas gift – a warming of the tropical Pacific causing drought and floods that will peak at the end of this month, but will impact weather systems around the globe into 2016. So what does that really mean for these vulnerable regions in the coming year? With the perils of weather forecasting acknowledged, here’s a snapshot.ño-and-Africa-in-2016
COP21: Southern Africa's food crisis - from bad to worse
4 December 2015 (IRIN ), Close to 29 million people in southern Africa are already facing food shortages as a result of this season’s poor harvest, but worse could be on the way.
What future for the humanitarian capital of the world?
7 April 2015 (IRIN ), Geneva has firmly taken its place as one of the most expensive cities in the world, following a sharp rise in the value of the Swiss franc in January. Should cost-conscious aid agencies be headquartered there?
Killing us softly
27 March 2015 (IRIN ), Of the 100 million Chinese who watched a documentary - later censored - about air pollution in their country, 172,000 are likely to die each year from air pollution-related diseases.
Three words of advice for WHO Africa's new chief
24 February 2015 (IRIN ), WHO’s new regional director for Africa faces a tough road ahead, as she attempts to restore confidence in the organization following failures to act more quickly during the Ebola outbreak.
Who celebrity advocates are really targeting. And it’s not you.
13 February 2015 (IRIN ), In recent years, aid agencies have increasingly used celebrities to raise awareness and money for their causes. There’s just one problem: It doesn’t actually work.
Nice and dirty – the importance of soil
16 January 2015 (IRIN ), Be it laterite, loam, peat or clay, soil is life. It's the foundation of food security, and so the UN has declared 2015 as the year to draw attention to the stuff.
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.
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.
Poor sanitation, poverty behind Swazi diarrhoea outbreak
1 August 2014 (IRIN ), A nationwide outbreak of diarrhoea attributed to rotavirus has claimed the lives of nearly 40 young children in Swaziland during the past month and highlighted the need for better sanitation and clean water in schools and homes.
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.
Madagascar back in the US trade fold
27 June 2014 (IRIN ), As anticipated, the US government has reinstated preferential trade status for Madagascar on its 54th independence day anniversary, providing hope for the country’s embattled economy.
Swaziland braces itself for AGOA exit
17 June 2014 (IRIN ), The threat of Swaziland being suspended from a US preferential trade agreement for poor progress in meeting democratic norms is threatening the livelihoods of tens of thousands of worker in a country where unemployment is already above 40 percent.
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.
Mourning versus survival in Swaziland
21 April 2014 (IRIN ), A traditional two-year mourning period for widows during which women are expected to be confined and not work, is meeting growing resistance in Swaziland.
Swaziland's dry spell upends sunny outlook on food
3 March 2014 (IRIN ), A prolonged dry spell with scorching temperatures has undone an optimistic outlook for Swaziland’s harvest of maize, the staple. Instead, experts are now predicting another round of scarcity and hand-outs in the perennially food-insecure country.

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