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Scant progress on Senegal’s talibé problem

DAKAR, 21 March 2014 (IRIN) - Despite pledges by the Senegalese government to end child begging and to crack down on the Koranic schools that exploit the tens of thousands of boys, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released on 19 March that very little has been done. 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

An alarming outlook for Senegal’s hungry

LOUGA/DAKAR, 12 March 2014 (IRIN) - The number of food insecure in the Sahel is expected to grow from 11.3 million in 2013 to more than 20 million in 2014, mainly due to an increase in cases in northern Nigeria, northern Cameroon and Senegal. IRIN went to Louga, in northern Senegal, to find out why the number of hungry is so high. 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

West Africa: West African livelihoods weakened by graft

DAKAR, 3 January 2014 (IRIN) - Poor public services in many West African countries, with already dire human development indicators, are under constant pressure from pervasive corruption. Observers say graft is corroding proper governance and causing growing numbers of people to sink into poverty 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

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