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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

Fresh waves of Zimbabwean migrants flee worsening economy

HARARE/LOUIS TRICHARDT, 21 March 2014 (IRIN) - A deepening economic crisis in Zimbabwe is worsening already high levels of unemployment and driving a fresh wave of labour migrations into neighbouring countries, say economists. full report

Long road to an African rapid reaction force

JOHANNESBURG, 21 February 2014 (IRIN) - The African Union (AU) is rethinking how it can most effectively deploy military forces to tackle the continent’s crises. 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

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

Nelson Mandela's activism remembered at AIDS and STIs conference

CAPE TOWN, 9 December 2013 (IRIN) - AIDS conference opening ceremonies are usually a buzzing cacophony of noise, protest and activity. But the 17th International Conference on AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Africa, held in Cape Town, South Africa, has kicked off on a more sombre note. The death of Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa and noted AIDS activist, had speakers at the opening ceremony reflecting on his contribution to the global AIDS response. full report

Stock-outs rock world's biggest HIV treatment programme

JOHANNESBURG, 29 November 2013 (IRIN) - The world's largest antiretroviral (ARV) programme is in crisis. One in five health facilities in South Africa reported a stock-out of antiretroviral (ARV) or tuberculosis (TB) medication in the past three months, putting the lives of many patients in jeopardy, according to activists. full report

How safe is going home to Somalia?

JOHANNESBURG, 28 November 2013 (IRIN) - Not so long ago, Somali asylum seekers were arriving in South Africa at a rate of about 1,500 a month. Even a year ago, about 100 a week were still trickling in, according to the Somali Association of South Africa. These days, many more are departing than arriving, and most of them are leaving on flights bound for Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital. full report

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