West Africa

Refugees, returnees from Nigeria strain Niger host population

DAKAR, 23 April 2014 (IRIN) - 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) - 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

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

Fears in Cameroon of Boko Haram recruitment

MAROUA, 16 April 2014 (IRIN) - Nigeria’s extremist Islamist group Boko Haram are believed to be actively recruiting fighters across the border in Cameroon’s Far North Region, according to residents and local government officials. full report

Back to the ballot-box - Guinea-Bissau seeks stability

BISSAU, 11 April 2014 (IRIN) - Guinea-Bissau observers doubt that the long-delayed post-coup presidential election set for 13 April will be sufficient to jolt the country back to stability. But there are hopes that the polls will restore constitutional order, revive donor support and stabilize the economy. full report

Chronic malnutrition dogs Côte d’Ivoire’s north

ABIDJAN, 9 April 2014 (IRIN) - Forty percent of Ivoirian children in the northern region are chronically malnourished, the country’s highest rate, which has not fallen for the past six years. The effects of a drawn-out conflict, desertion by aid groups and inadequate medical staff have contributed to the situation. Food scarcity here is often due to harsh weather and high food costs. full report

Closing Guinea’s Ebola infection gap

DAKAR, 3 April 2014 (IRIN) - The Ebola outbreak in Guinea’s southern region which has spread to the capital, Conakry, and to neighbouring countries, has been propagated mainly through person-to-person contact, a gap that health experts and state authorities are struggling to close. full report

Malian returnees face economic hardship

BAMAKO, 28 March 2014 (IRIN) - Displaced Malians who have recently returned to their homes in the north of the country say they are facing economic difficulty as their businesses, livestock and other forms of livelihood have been wiped out, while those still displaced also say financial assistance is their main need. full report

Curbing West Africa’s Ebola outbreak

DAKAR, 26 March 2014 (IRIN) - As health authorities and aid groups work to contain the spread of Ebola in Guinea which has killed 59 people and infected scores of others since January, suspected cases have emerged in neighbouring Liberia, prompting calls for a regional response. full report

Regional insecurity fuels polio in Cameroon

YAOUNDÉ, 26 March 2014 (IRIN) - Three new polio cases have been confirmed in Cameroon over the past two weeks, making it the country’s first outbreak since 2011 and causing alarm among health officials who link the virus’s spread to weak vaccine campaign coverage and displacement following violence in neighbouring northeastern Nigeria and the Central African Republic (CAR). full report