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The Quiet Americans
9 November 2015 (IRIN ), Kitting out a Nigerien army unit is not what most humanitarians would consider the best response to Boko Haram. But for the NGO Spirit of America, it is precisely the sort of muscular aid – along with more traditional wealth-generating development projects – that’s needed to tackle the militants.
Life still hard in northern Mali, despite peace deal
4 September 2015 (IRIN ), A peace accord was signed in Mali earlier this year, but ongoing conflict continues to impact the livelihoods of millions in the north of the country.
Avian flu threatens West Africa poultry farmers
23 June 2015 (IRIN ), The loss, since January, of more than 1.7 million birds across five countries in West Africa is threatening the livelihoods of poultry farmers across the region.
What you need to know about the global refugee crisis
18 June 2015 (IRIN ), We are witnessing the largest and most rapid escalation ever in the number of people being forced from their homes. In 2014, an average of 42,500 people were displaced every day. The world desperately needs to better responses.
Food worries widen in Mauritania
26 May 2015 (IRIN ), More than 465,000 people in Mauritania, where lean season is already underway, are expected to face severe food insecurity by June, due in large part to last year's poor harvests.
Northeast Nigeria: "Hundreds of thousands have fled"
28 November 2014 (IRIN ), More than 400,000 people in northeastern Nigeria, who have been forced to flee their homes due to ongoing violence by militant Islamist group Boko Haram, are in "urgent need" of assistance, humanitarian agencies say. This number is likely to increase as attacks against civilians escalate.
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
Nearly 25 million food insecure in Sahel
29 October 2014 (IRIN ), Food security and malnutrition rates across the Sahel are deteriorating, due in large part to ongoing conflict and instability in the Central African Republic (CAR), northern Mali, and northeast Nigeria, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
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.
Emerging from crisis, Mali braces for hunger
3 March 2014 (IRIN ), As Mali slowly emerges from its 2012 political crisis and the Islamist insurgency in the north, the new government and its partners are focusing on long-term development. But aid groups warn that there are humanitarian needs that must be addressed immediately, particularly ensuring more food aid gets to extremely vulnerable communities in the north.
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.
Looking beyond food for causes of Cameroon’s malnutrition
18 December 2013 (IRIN ), Mairam Umaru’s year-old son had suffered vomiting and fever on and off for a month before she sought medical help. “I thought it was my milk affecting him, or that he was teething,” said the 17-year-old mother at the referral hospital in Maroua, the capital of Cameroon’s Far North Region, where her son was being treated for severe acute malnutrition and other complications.
What does the future hold for pastoralists in the Sahel?
1 November 2013 (IRIN ), Harsher droughts and rising numbers of conflicts with farmers are threatening the future of pastoralism in the Sahel, but experts say that integrating crop and livestock systems can help sustain the livelihoods of herders and farmers.
Meningitis vaccine a "stunning" success
12 September 2013 (IRIN ), A new meningitis vaccine being rolled out in Chad has resulted in an astonishing 94 percent drop in the incidence of all types of the disease, according to a study being published this week in the Lancet.
Curbing deadly bovine disease faces hurdles in Sahel
8 August 2013 (IRIN ), Long eradicated in developed countries, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) - a highly infectious respiratory disease - remains a huge threat to cattle production in the Sahel and West Africa, where cross-border migration by pastoralists is customary.
Analysis: Short-term fixes - the bane of West African agriculture
5 July 2013 (IRIN ), Boosting agricultural productivity in the Sahel region is crucial to reduce chronic food insecurity, improve families' nutrition, promote economic growth and help build people's resilience, say experts, but governments still under-fund the sector, as do international donors who favour short-term fixes.
Humanitarian needs rise in Sahel
4 July 2013 (IRIN ), Humanitarian agencies have revised upwards their appeal to help Sahelians affected by hunger, malnutrition, impoverishment and conflict to US$1.7 billion, said UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel Robert Piper.
UN peacekeepers take over in Mali
1 July 2013 (IRIN ), UN peacekeepers today took over the role of African troops in helping to stabilize and protect northern Mali, with a plan to build up to 12,640 troops - most of them African - by the end of the year. Though Islamist groups took a severe battering by French troops, which have secured most of the north since January, they continue to attempt suicide attacks, many of them centred around the city of Gao. The region of Kidal, meanwhile, remains under the control of the Tuareg group the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).
Analysis: Emergency cash versus social protection in West Africa
26 June 2013 (IRIN ), Aid agency cash and voucher transfers in emergencies have increased significantly in recent years. The World Food Programme (WFP), for example, has tripled its distributions over the past three years.
Linking early warning to early action in the Sahel
18 June 2013 (IRIN ), While aid agencies agree that early warning systems offer the chance to mitigate humanitarian crises, difficulty in funding pre-emptive measures and government sensitivities in admitting a looming disaster continue to hamper early action.

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