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Rough guide to Islamic rules of war

DUBAI, 24 April 2014 (IRIN) - There is a renewed interest in translating classical texts about Islamic rules of war into English, adding to the increasing body of work on the intersections between Islam, international humanitarian law (IHL) and the protection of civilians. IRIN provides this study guide to get you started. full report

Can Islamic law be an answer for humanitarians?

DUBAI, 24 April 2014 (IRIN) - In the last decade, aid and advocacy agencies have increasingly tried to understand Islamic law in order to use its humanitarian provisions as tools of negotiation with armed groups in the Muslim world. While the approach has seen some successes, it also raises certain ethical dilemmas. full report

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

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

West Africa scores high in disaster risk

DAKAR, 14 March 2014 (IRIN) - Researchers at the Madrid-based humanitarian research non-profit DARA have developed a new methodology, the risk reduction index, that they say could help more countries assess and reduce the risk of natural hazards and disasters. But an assessment using the index, carried out in six West African countries, found pervasive risks and limited capacity to reduce vulnerability. full report

Mauritania fertile ground for Arab donors

GORGOL/BRAKNA, 17 February 2014 (IRIN) - Drought-prone, chronically hungry Mauritania, with the help of the UN, is reaching out to Arab donors, encouraging them to reach beyond their customary role in development and engage in humanitarian response. full report

Time to rekindle Timbuktu's flame

TIMBUKTU, 12 February 2014 (IRIN) - The ‘Flamme de la Paix’ monument lies on the northwestern outskirts of Timbukutu, Mali. There, on 27 March 1996, hundreds of weapons were symbolically destroyed, and representatives from the Malian government and Tuareg rebel movements promised to promote peace and reconciliation in a region wracked by bitter conflict. 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

UN shifts approach to help Sahel’s 20 million hungry

DAKAR, 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. full report

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