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Small steps towards forest conservation in Madagascar

ANDASIBE, 24 April 2014 (IRIN Africa) - An association of tour guides and community members at the Analamazaotra Forest Station, a protected area of rainforest about 150km east of Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo, has embarked on an ambitious reforestation project that is educating local people about the value of preserving the forest as well as generating an income for 400 nearby households. full report

Islamic law and the rules of war

DUBAI, 24 April 2014 (IRIN Global) - Islamic law contains a rich, but complex set of rules on the protection of civilians which can be difficult to understand, given the range of sources and interpretations available. IRIN walks you through the basics. full report

Jihadi jurisprudence? Militant interpretations of Islamic rules of war

DUBAI, 24 April 2014 (IRIN Global) - Within extremist militant circles is a debate over acceptable behavior under the Islamic rules of war. This so-called “jihadi jurisprudence” is increasingly studied by humanitarians as practitioners seek to understand the degree to which there is room for even the most radical armed groups to be influenced in favour of the protection of civilians and aid workers. full report

Trauma link to malnutrition in CAR

BANGUI, 23 April 2014 (IRIN Africa) - Data collected at a hospital clinic for malnourished children in the Central African Republic (CAR) suggests that many of the childrens’ parents present symptoms of post-traumatic stress directly linked to their exposure to extreme violence, according to the NGO Action Against Hunger (ACF). full report

Refugees, returnees from Nigeria strain Niger host population

DAKAR, 23 April 2014 (IRIN Africa) - There are now more returnees and refugees in Niger’s southeastern region of Diffa near the border with Nigeria than there are Malian refugees in western Niger, straining host populations who are already some of the poorest people in the world, and the local authorities. full report

Need to ramp up aid response in Nigeria's violence-torn northeast

KANO, 22 April 2014 (IRIN Africa) - Security fears, a lack of humanitarian actors on the ground and a perception that Nigeria's government can handle its crises without help, are leaving many of the thousands displaced by Boko Haram violence in the northeast short of food, with little to no access to health care or basics like clean water and blankets. full report

Survival of the biggest - side-lining of local NGOs in disasters

LONDON, 21 April 2014 (IRIN Global) - Five days after Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, Paul Valentin was giving a TV interview in his role as international director of Christian Aid. full report

Mourning versus survival in Swaziland

MBABANE, 21 April 2014 (IRIN Africa) - A traditional two-year mourning period for widows during which women are expected to be confined and not work, is meeting growing resistance in Swaziland. full report

Fortified food - persuading the private sector to do good

LONDON, 18 April 2014 (IRIN Global) - With a certain amount of fanfare, Nigeria has just officially become a middle income country. It is not the sort of country associated with widespread hunger, or a country where people normally get, or expect to get, food aid. And yet around a quarter of small children in Nigeria are underweight, and around 40 percent are stunted; they do not get enough nutritious food to reach their full physical and mental potential. full report

Nepal activists flay reconciliation bill

KATHMANDU, 18 April 2014 (IRIN Asia) - Human rights activists have strongly criticized the provisions of a proposed Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) bill, saying it could grant amnesty to Maoist combatants and government troops for alleged crimes committed during the country’s decade-long civil war. full report