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Analysis: Water and conflict
22 April 2014 (IRIN ), In 2001 then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared: “Fierce competition for fresh water may well become a source of conflict and wars in the future.” A year later he revised that position, saying water problems could be a “catalyst for cooperation”.
Survival of the biggest - side-lining of local NGOs in disasters
21 April 2014 (IRIN ), Five days after Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, Paul Valentin was giving a TV interview in his role as international director of Christian Aid.
Fortified food - persuading the private sector to do good
18 April 2014 (IRIN ), With a certain amount of fanfare, Nigeria has just officially become a middle income country. It is not the sort of country associated with widespread hunger, or a country where people normally get, or expect to get, food aid. And yet around a quarter of small children in Nigeria are underweight, and around 40 percent are stunted; they do not get enough nutritious food to reach their full physical and mental potential.
Analysis: Can the world really end poverty by 2030?
17 April 2014 (IRIN ), The slogan “make poverty history” has been used by development pundits and pop star philanthropists for years. Now, in a bid to turn words into deeds, it is being discussed as a universal global target to be met within a generation.
Acting locally - the South's rising philanthropy
11 April 2014 (IRIN ), Forget Gates. Move over Oprah. Emerging economies too have their own home-grown titans of philanthropy, providing a potentially better attuned and more sustainable income source for local humanitarian and development needs.
Africa’s Top 10 Philanthropists
11 April 2014 (IRIN ), An estimated US$7 billion is given away every year by Africa’s philanthrocapitalists – at least the ones we know about. These are the men (sadly no women yet on this list) providing home-grown solutions to local needs.
Tapping into a tradition of giving
11 April 2014 (IRIN ), Traditional and faith-based forms of giving have been around for centuries and continue to play a major role in determining people’s giving patterns. There is much excitement about the pace at which formal philanthropy is taking hold in many developing countries, but some believe that understanding - and perhaps harnessing - indigenous traditions could make philanthropic initiatives more sustainable in the long run.
Ethnic Somalis under pressure in Kenyan capital
11 April 2014 (IRIN ), Thousands of ethnic Somalis have been arrested and detained in an ongoing security operation dubbed Usalama Watch mainly in Eastleigh, a suburb of Nairobi often known as “Little Mogadishu” because of its predominantly Somali population. Usalama means security in Swahili.
Back to the ballot-box - Guinea-Bissau seeks stability
11 April 2014 (IRIN ), Guinea-Bissau observers doubt that the long-delayed post-coup presidential election set for 13 April will be sufficient to jolt the country back to stability. But there are hopes that the polls will restore constitutional order, revive donor support and stabilize the economy.
Analysis: Scaling up accountability to communities
10 April 2014 (IRIN ), SMS feedback in Haiti; radio outreach in the Philippines; community helpdesks in Darfur; a Humanitarian Call Centre in Pakistan: many such initiatives boost communication with disaster-affected communities, and in some cases improve accountability to communities, but most remain at pilot project scale because they are difficult to scale up. Evidence of the benefits remains piecemeal and in some cases projects risk being tokenistic rather than meaningful, said participants at a meeting of the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Practice (ALNAP) in Addis Ababa last month.
Vaccines alone cannot beat polio in Iraq*
10 April 2014 (IRIN ), A countrywide vaccination campaign is under way in Iraq following the country’s first confirmed case of polio in 14 years, but public health experts warn it will take more than immunization to beat the virus.
Lack of funding threatens aid response in Iraq's Anbar Province
9 April 2014 (IRIN ), Funding shortages are threatening relief operations in Iraq's troubled Anbar Province, where violent clashes have led to the displacement of more than 400,000 people in three month. Without additional funding, some aid agencies would have to cease operations within one month.
Myanmar peace and development scorecard
8 April 2014 (IRIN ), Three years after Myanmar’s first nominally civilian government in decades came to power, many of the country’s 135 minority ethnic groups say they have yet to see any tangible change on the ground.
NGO-NGO learning: what works?
8 April 2014 (IRIN ), A whole industry has emerged to foster humanitarian learning and, in the main, actors are increasingly collaborative and open when it comes to learning lessons from emergencies. But challenges persist, including a prevailing aversity to risk as the industry corporatizes, and a disconnect between individual and institutional, formal and non-formal, learning.
Analysis: How effective is Pakistan’s disaster authority?
3 April 2014 (IRIN ), The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was set up shortly after the 2005 quake that killed at least 87,000 people in northern Pakistan to act as the “implementing, coordinating and monitoring body” for disaster management.
Briefing: Punitive aid cuts disrupt healthcare in Uganda
2 April 2014 (IRIN ), Since the enactment of a draconian anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda just over a month ago, donors have been slashing or suspending aid to the country in protest. Health officials, activists and NGOs warn that this could have a major impact on healthcare services, particularly for HIV/AIDS patients.
Calls for a ceasefire in the war on drugs
28 March 2014 (IRIN ), Despite growing acknowledgement that the war on drugs has failed, global consensus on the way forward remains elusive. Nevertheless, some detect a “paradigm shift” among many players at the forefront of the debate.
Analysis: Challenges of bringing more women into the Afghan justice sector
28 March 2014 (IRIN ), Better gender representation in the justice sector in Afghanistan will empower more women to take action against the men who abuse them. This is the reasoning of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), which released a report last week documenting the gains - and considerable challenges that still lie ahead - in bringing more women into key legal positions in the country.
Turkey’s ambitions as a rising donor
27 March 2014 (IRIN ), From humble beginnings, Turkey is maturing into a major player in international humanitarian aid, becoming the world’s fourth largest government donor of humanitarian aid in 2012. And as it has grown, Turkey’s aid has taken its own form - largely bilateral and on the frontlines - arousing both critics and admirers.
Do we care enough about sexual violence?
25 March 2014 (IRIN ), Two years ago global attention was focused on the spontaneous protests led by ordinary people in the Indian capital, New Delhi, after the gruesome gang-rape and murder of a physiotherapy student.

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