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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

Genome breakthrough could help fight against sleeping sickness

KISUMU/NAIROBI, 28 May 2014 (IRIN) - Scientists have welcomed the development of genome sequence data on the tsetse fly, the vector responsible for the transmission of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), commonly known as sleeping sickness. They say it could be instrumental in devising strategies to eradicate the fly and reduce deaths and the spread of other diseases associated with it. 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

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

Fleeing fighting in Mozambique to uncertain future in Malawi

BLANTYRE, 4 March 2014 (IRIN) - Since mid-January, an estimated 2,000 people have fled fighting between the government and former rebels in Mozambique, spilling into neighbouring Malawi, but they are yet to receive assistance as the Malawian government and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) remain in disagreement about their status as asylum seekers. 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

Crop-eating pests plague southern African farmers

HARARE/JOHANNESBURG, 7 February 2014 (IRIN) - The rainy season, always welcome in often dry southern Africa, has brought with it favourable breeding conditions for army worms and red locusts. The crop-eating pests are contributing to the woes of subsistence farmers already struggling to recover from setbacks in the last farming cycle. 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

Mozambique’s small-scale fishermen battle headwinds

BEIRA, 22 January 2014 (IRIN) - Invasive species, illegal fishing practices and Mozambique’s difficulty in translating its rapid economic growth into jobs are squeezing the country’s small-scale fishing sector - a vital contributor to food security. 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

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