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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.
Trading away West Africa’s hunger
20 March 2014 (IRIN ), Severe food shortages in the Sahel and West Africa are often the result of droughts and poor harvests. But inefficient intra-regional trade also places significant strain on food availability, exacerbating hunger.
Humanitarian response gap grows in northern Nigeria
14 March 2014 (IRIN ), Humanitarian needs are mounting in northern Nigeria, where Boko Haram attacks have displaced 350,000 people since 2013, 290,000 of them internally; the rest are sheltering in Cameroon, Chad and Niger. But the national response is inadequate and the international response minimal due to access hurdles and political sensitivities.
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.
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.
UN shifts approach to help Sahel’s 20 million hungry
3 February 2014 (IRIN ), Over 20 million people in the Sahel will need humanitarian assistance in 2014, up 8.7 million over the number of people in need in 2013, estimates the UN, which launched an ambitious three-year Sahel strategy today.
Exodus adds to CAR crisis
9 January 2014 (IRIN ), Tens of thousands of people of Chadian origin are desparate to flee violence in the Central African Republic. Their sudden departure is bad news for both countries.
West Africa: West African livelihoods weakened by graft
3 January 2014 (IRIN ), Poor public services in many West African countries, with already dire human development indicators, are under constant pressure from pervasive corruption. Observers say graft is corroding proper governance and causing growing numbers of people to sink into poverty
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.
How to empower local NGO partners
20 December 2013 (IRIN ), UN agencies and international NGOs (INGOs) are increasingly stressing the need to reach out to new partners, including local NGOs, to build their capacity to respond to humanitarian crises. Yet agencies are still said to “arrive, set the agenda, do their activities and leave,” said Sayadi Sani, head of the local Nigerien nutrition NGO Befen. How can aid agencies better empower local NGOs?
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.
Malaria deaths nearly double in Chad
25 October 2013 (IRIN ), Malaria deaths have nearly doubled in Chad this year, with 2,057 fatalities registered so far and around 780,000 cases diagnosed, aid groups say.
Time to prevent child malnutrition in Sahel
14 October 2013 (IRIN ), Malnutrition among children under age five in the Sahel is expected to rise again this year, despite decent rains and more or less average harvest predictions. Yet as specialists collect robust evidence on the most effective ways to save the lives of 1.5 million children in the region - going beyond food to tackle malaria, boost healthcare, increase vaccination coverage and improve access to clean water as part of integrated packages - donors remain cautious about commitments.
Analysis: Behind China’s aid structure
17 September 2013 (IRIN ), China’s role as an aid donor has been met with wariness, both from aid experts and recipients. Confusion over the nature of China’s aid arises because the country uses multiple ministries and agencies to give money, has different strategic priorities than traditional Western donors, and does not release detailed reports about how much aid it provides.
Analysis: Untangling China's aid to Africa
17 September 2013 (IRIN ), This year, the two most powerful men on the globe, presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, both embarked on Africa tours, pledging to increase aid and investment and work with the continent to improve development.
Providing healthcare against the odds in Chad's Tissi
16 September 2013 (IRIN ), Geographic remoteness, proximity to two volatile border regions, harsh weather and impassable roads are but a few of the challenges aid agencies grapple with as they provide healthcare in Chad’s southeastern Tissi area.
Rethinking mental health in Africa
2 September 2013 (IRIN ), As African countries strive to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and plot a new development agenda thereafter, health experts are gathering evidence across the continent to make a case for a greater focus on its millions of mentally ill.
Wave of nomadic pastoral refugees hits Chad
28 August 2013 (IRIN ), Among the refugees entering southeastern Chad from the Darfur region of neighbouring Sudan in the past few months are thousands of nomadic pastoralists.

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