Horn of Africa

Drought spells disaster for Somali herders

HARGEISA/GAROWE, 11 February 2016 (IRIN) - Two consecutive seasons of drought across northern Somalia are driving tens of thousands of pastoralists to hunger and debt. full report

Somalia offers Yemenis a safer home

GARDO, 2 February 2016 (IRIN) - Somalia is the new home for 30,560 people who have fled the fighting in Yemen and are trying to adjust to life in a country that – while no longer written off as a “failed state” – certainly has its challenges. full report

The refugee camp that became a city

DADAAB, 20 January 2016 (IRIN) - When Halima Abdi fled the civil war in Somalia with her young daughter, she hoped her stay across the border in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp would be short-lived. full report

An unwanted guest: El Niño and Africa in 2016

NAIROBI, 23 December 2015 (IRIN) - El Niño is the largely unwanted Christmas gift – a warming of the tropical Pacific causing drought and floods that will peak at the end of this month, but will impact weather systems around the globe into 2016. So what does that really mean for these vulnerable regions in the coming year? With the perils of weather forecasting acknowledged, here’s a snapshot. full report

COP 21: Ready or not - drought tests Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, 27 November 2015 (IRIN) - Herding weary sheep up a dusty path, Hussein Boru knows he won’t find green pastures. He’s just looking for the minimum to keep his flock fed in drought-hit eastern Ethiopia. full report

How bad is the drought in Ethiopia?

LONDON, 19 November 2015 (IRIN) - Alarm bells are ringing for a food emergency in Ethiopia. The UN says 15 million people will need help over the coming months. The government, wary of stigma and therefore hesitant to ask for help, has nevertheless said more than eight million Ethiopians need food assistance. Inevitably, comment and media coverage compare the current situation with 1984 – the year Ethiopia’s notorious famine hit the headlines. Reports suggest this is the worst drought in 30 years. One declares it a “code red” drought. So how bad actually is it? full report

Africa’s meningitis A vaccine: how partnership replaced ‘Big Pharma’

London, 17 November 2015 (IRIN) - For years, the unwillingness of big pharmaceutical companies to invest in treatments for diseases that primarily affect the poor has hampered epidemic management in the developing world. But now an experimental partnership working without the support of 'Big Pharma' has delivered an incredible success: a vaccine that has all but wiped out meningitis A across Africa in less than four years. Is this the future of medical research and development in lower-income countries? Elizabeth Blunt reports: full report

IRIN's Top Picks: Syrian sketches, sugary deals and sheer generosity

LONDON, 13 November 2015 (IRIN) - Welcome to IRIN's reading list. Every week our global network of specialist correspondents share their top picks of recent must-read research, podcasts, reports, blogs and in-depth articles to help you keep on top of global crises. We also highlight key upcoming conferences, book releases and policy debates. full report

IRIN's Top Picks: Deadly journeys, the drone papers and ethical aid dilemmas

LONDON, 23 October 2015 (IRIN) - Welcome to IRIN's reading list. Every week our global network of specialist correspondents share their top picks of recent must-read research, podcasts, reports, blogs and in-depth articles to help you keep on top of global crises. We also highlight key upcoming conferences, book releases and policy debates. full report

The new boom aid job: cultural mediator

CATANIA/ROME, 16 October 2015 (IRIN) - A by-product of the dramatic rise in the number of migrants and refugees arriving in Europe is soaring demand for a relatively new kind of humanitarian professional: the cultural mediator. full report