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Breaking the poverty trap – the power of cash grants

NEW YORK, 10 July 2014 (IRIN) - A cash injection of as little as US$12 per month for an impoverished family could determine whether a child eats properly or goes to school or not. With cash transfer programmes around the world now having a profound impact on the lives of poor people, the debate is less about whether to implement them than how to do so. full report

New thinking needed on food aid for refugees in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, 7 July 2014 (IRIN) - The World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have launched an urgent appeal to address a funding shortfall that has already resulted in food ration cuts for a third of all African refugees. As of mid-June, nearly 800,000 refugees in 22 African countries have seen their monthly food allocations reduced, most of them by more than half. full report

Pledges and boycotts in Mauritania polls

NOUAKCHOTT, 12 June 2014 (IRIN) - President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz will face four rival candidates in Mauritania’s 21 June elections, which are being boycotted by the main opposition coalition on grounds that they are a sham and its supporters claiming that the outcome is a foregone conclusion. full report

Melding science and tradition to tackle climate change

KISUMU, 23 May 2014 (IRIN) - In the latest of several partnerships between tradition and modern science aimed at improving resilience to climate change, pastoralists and meteorologists in Tanzania are working together to produce weather forecasts better suited to farmers. full report

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

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