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African migrants in Israel face "voluntary" return or detention

TEL AVIV/JOHANNESBURG, 27 February 2014 (IRIN) - Israel has released figures showing that the number of African migrants choosing to accept “voluntary departure” from the country has been steadily increasing since an amendment to its anti-infiltration law was passed in December 2013, with about 2,200 departures recorded since the beginning of 2014. full report

Sudan and Egypt implicated in human trafficking

JOHANNESBURG, 12 February 2014 (IRIN) - Since 2009, hundreds and possibly thousands of refugees, most of them Eritrean, have been kidnapped in eastern Sudan and sold to traffickers in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, where they are held and tortured until their relatives can raise tens of thousands of dollars in ransom money. According to a report released on 11 February by Human Rights Watch (HRW), security forces in Sudan and Egypt have either turned a blind eye to this violent trade in men, women and children or, in some cases, colluded with the traffickers. full report

Yonathan Habte, trafficking survivor: "At least if I died, it wouldn’t go on"

JOHANNESBURG, 12 February 2014 (IRIN) - In March 2012, Yonathan Habte*, then 26, decided to flee Eritrea where he had evaded military service and was facing jail. With a background in computer engineering, he was confident he could make a life in another African country. Instead, he was kidnapped near the Sudanese border and trafficked to Egypt, where he barely survived three months in two different camps in the lawless Sinai region, near the Israeli border. He talked to IRIN over the phone from Sweden. 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

Life-saving hepatitis C drug approved, but cost is high

New York, 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. full report

Is Africa ready for GM?

KISUMU/KAMPALA, 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. full report

Senegal on the frontline of the battle with Big Tobacco

DAKAR, 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. full report

Analysis: Behind China’s aid structure

NAIROBI, 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. full report

Analysis: Untangling China's aid to Africa

NAIROBI, 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. full report

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