East Africa

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

Ethnic Somalis under pressure in Kenyan capital

EASTLEIGH (NAIROBI), 11 April 2014 (IRIN) - Thousands of ethnic Somalis have been arrested and detained in an ongoing security operation dubbed Usalama Watch mainly in Eastleigh, a suburb of Nairobi often known as “Little Mogadishu” because of its predominantly Somali population. Usalama means security in Swahili. full report

A mother’s death costs the family dear - Kenyan study

KISUMU, 10 April 2014 (IRIN) - While the death of a mother during childbirth has obvious emotional and personal implications, a new study in Kenya that quantifies the precise economic burden on households has found that it can be debilitating for a family and push them into poverty. full report

Asylum seekers left high and dry in Indonesia

JAKARTA/MAKASSAR, 9 April 2014 (IRIN) - Australia’s military-led operation to prevent boats carrying asylum seekers from reaching its shores has been hailed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott as a success, with over 100 days elapsing since the last boat reached its target. But in Indonesia - the country from which most of the boats previously departed - Australia’s tough new measures have stranded over 10,000 asylum seekers and refugees who can neither proceed to their desired destination nor, in many cases, return home. full report

Kenya’s Sharia-friendly livestock insurance

WAJIR, 9 April 2014 (IRIN) - A mutual insurance scheme based on Islamic Sharia law has been launched to reduce the impact of extreme weather events on pastoral livelihoods in Kenya’s arid northern regions where perennial drought often decimates thousands of livestock. full report

Questions over Karamoja food security plan

KAMPALA, 8 April 2014 (IRIN) - Aid agencies are giving out food relief in Uganda’s arid northeastern Karamoja region earlier than usual due to greater food insecurity, which locals and experts blame on the failures of a key government food security plan launched five years ago. full report

Briefing: Punitive aid cuts disrupt healthcare in Uganda

KAMPALA, 2 April 2014 (IRIN) - Since the enactment of a draconian anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda just over a month ago, donors have been slashing or suspending aid to the country in protest. Health officials, activists and NGOs warn that this could have a major impact on healthcare services, particularly for HIV/AIDS patients. full report

Pneumonia vaccine shows promise in Kenya

KISUMU, 28 March 2014 (IRIN) - Better uptake of the new pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in children under five alongside more robust health monitoring systems at community level could help stem pneumonia related-deaths in children in Kenya: 20 percent of deaths in children under five are attributable to the disease, according to the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation. full report

Cattle-rustling and the politics of business in Kenya

NAIROBI, 27 March 2014 (IRIN) - Cattle raiding in Kenya is often viewed in the legitimizing context of tradition, climate change and resource conflict, but increasingly it has much more to do with organized crime meeting a rising demand for meat, and political violence resulting from a new devolutionary constitution. full report

Ethiopia struggling to cope with South Sudanese refugee influx

GAMBELA REGION, 25 March 2014 (IRIN) - With around 1,000 South Sudanese refugees streaming into the Gambela Region of western Ethiopia every week, relief workers and agencies warn of an imminent humanitarian crisis as camps reach capacity and assistance is increasingly stretched. full report