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Remittance rip-offs

LONDON, 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. full report

Chronic malnutrition dogs Côte d’Ivoire’s north

ABIDJAN, 9 April 2014 (IRIN) - Forty percent of Ivoirian children in the northern region are chronically malnourished, the country’s highest rate, which has not fallen for the past six years. The effects of a drawn-out conflict, desertion by aid groups and inadequate medical staff have contributed to the situation. Food scarcity here is often due to harsh weather and high food costs. full report

Trading away West Africa’s hunger

DAKAR, 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. full report

Worries over looming Ivoirian polls

ABIDJAN, 26 February 2014 (IRIN) - As Côte d’Ivoire inches closer to its first elections since the violently disputed polls of 2010, efforts to deliver justice, promote reconciliation and disarm fighters are being criticized for failing to shield the country from renewed instability. full report

Breaking the cycle of youth unemployment, poverty

DAKAR, 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. full report

Helping Africa’s urban poor gain from modernization

NAIROBI, 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. full report

Politics undermining Côte d’Ivoire trials, activists say

ABIDJAN, 29 January 2014 (IRIN) - With just a single trial concluded out of the 86 cases arising from Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010-2011 post-poll violence, concerns are emerging that justice is being undermined by political compromises. full report

Côte d'Ivoire truth panel seen faltering

ABIDJAN, 13 January 2014 (IRIN) - Côte d'Ivoire’s Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CDVR) recently concluded its two-year mandate with a report detailing rights violations and the causes of past conflicts, but observers lambasted the panel for failing to help heal divisions and said that some of its findings were already well known. full report

West Africa: West African livelihoods weakened by graft

DAKAR, 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 full report

Ivoirian hunters accused of abuses

ABIDJAN, 3 January 2014 (IRIN) - Since fighting for Côte d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara during the election violence in 2010-2011, armed traditional hunters known as “dozo” appear to have increasingly taken on the role of regular forces, mounting roadblocks, patrolling, and arresting civilians. They have also been accused of committing atrocities full report

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