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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

Kenyan police operation strands 300 children

NAIROBI, 20 June 2014 (IRIN) - As Kenya continues to round up and detain refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers in a controversial anti-terrorism operation, fears are mounting over the fate of around 300 children separated from parents arrested during the sweeps. Some of these children are reported to be held in a Nairobi stadium used as a temporary detention facility, without a parent or guardian. full report

Soldiers in schools - the impact of military occupations on education

BANGKOK, 12 June 2014 (IRIN) - Schools are targeted in conflicts around the world - they might represent ideas viewed as controversial, the destruction of a civilian building that is important to a community inflicts terror, and a school reduced to rubble can rob an entire generation of education. But attacks are only part of the problem, as significant harm can also be done when educational buildings remain intact and armed forces move in. full report

No easy way forward for Al-Shabab defectors

BAIDOA, 12 June 2014 (IRIN) - Anwar Ahmed*, 50, an Al-Shabab defector, was drawn to Somalia's Salafist armed group both by the promise of a wage and a belief in the Islamic ways of “rights and justice for all”. full report

Clans clash in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle

MOGADISHU, 11 June 2014 (IRIN) - Inter-clan clashes over the last week in Somalia’s southern Lower Shabelle region have killed approximately 30 and have forced over 250 to take refuge in African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) bases, according to the organization. full report

Kenya turns up the heat on Somali refugees

JOHANNESBURG/NAIROBI, 4 June 2014 (IRIN) - As security forces in Kenya continue to round up and detain thousands of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, most of them Somali, an agreement between the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Kenyan and Somali governments on the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees is coming under strain. 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

Shortages, clan rivalries weaken Somalia's new army

BAIDOA, 28 May 2014 (IRIN) - Acting governor of Baidoa and Sector 3 commander of the Somali National Army (SNA) Brig-Gen Ibrahim Yaro breaks into a broad grin, bordering on a chuckle, when asked whether his forces have any of their own helicopters. 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

Somalia at “risk of relapse”

NAIROBI, 7 May 2014 (IRIN) - Three years after a famine claimed 260,000 lives in Somalia, 2.9 million people there are still affected by a multifaceted but desperately underfunded humanitarian crisis, and communities are just “one shock away from disaster”, a host of aid agencies have warned in a joint campaign entitled “Risk of relapse.” full report

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