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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

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

Rethinking mental health in Africa

KAMPALA, 2 September 2013 (IRIN) - As African countries strive to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and plot a new development agenda thereafter, health experts are gathering evidence across the continent to make a case for a greater focus on its millions of mentally ill. full report

African governments still underfunding health

NAIROBI, 23 July 2013 (IRIN) - Twelve years after African governments pledged in the Abuja Declaration to allocate at least 15 percent of their annual budgets to healthcare by 2015, just six countries have met this goal. full report

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