Great Lakes

Killing us softly

HONG KONG, 27 March 2015 (IRIN) - Of the 100 million Chinese who watched a documentary - later censored - about air pollution in their country, 172,000 are likely to die each year from air pollution-related diseases. full report

Coaxing the dragon: Why China should join the great aid debate

LONDON, 17 March 2015 (IRIN) - Amid the countless meetings, summits and conferences being held around the world to determine the post-2015 development agenda and the future of humanitarian aid, how much attention is being paid to the growing role of China? Not enough perhaps, but the wariness cuts both ways. James Wan, fellow at the Wits University China-Africa Reporting Project in South Africa, argues it’s time for China to get its hands dirty in the great aid debate. full report

What dissident’s jailbreak means for a tense Burundi

BUJUMBURA, 9 March 2015 (IRIN) - The escape from jail this month of Burundian politician Hussein Radjabu, which was well organised with outside assistance, adds to the uncertainty and tension in the run-up to a presidential election. full report

Working to keep the peace: The impact of job schemes on ex-rebels

NAIROBI, 27 February 2015 (IRIN) - Job-creation schemes are the traditional way to tackle the post-conflict problem of unemployed ex-fighters and to reduce the threat they can pose to peace and stability in fragile states. full report

Why was the UN sidelined in "joint" DRC operation against rebels?

GOMA, 26 February 2015 (IRIN) - This week, a long-awaited military offensive began against a Rwandan rebel group based in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. It had been planned as a joint operation between Congolese government forces and a unique combat unit of United Nations peacekeepers. But by the time the gunfire began on Tuesday, the partnership had broken down and the UN had been side-lined. full report

Three words of advice for WHO Africa's new chief

DAKAR, 24 February 2015 (IRIN) - WHO’s new regional director for Africa faces a tough road ahead, as she attempts to restore confidence in the organization following failures to act more quickly during the Ebola outbreak. full report

Life after combat in CAR

BANGUI, 17 February 2015 (IRIN) - Helping thousands of fighters in the Central African Republic return to civilian life presents a dilemma for aid workers: offer too many incentives and risk rewarding violence; offer too few and potentially fail to stem it full report

A map of hunger in 2015 - where to watch

LONDON, 17 February 2015 (IRIN) - An interactive map of countries that are likely to face major food shortages in 2015. full report

Who celebrity advocates are really targeting. And it’s not you.

LONDON, 13 February 2015 (IRIN) - In recent years, aid agencies have increasingly used celebrities to raise awareness and money for their causes. There’s just one problem: It doesn’t actually work. full report

Why democracy may have to wait in the Central African Republic

BANGUI, 9 February 2015 (IRIN) - Insecurity and a lack resources could derail elections in the Central African Republic, crucial for the return to normality after almost two years of intense conflict. Already delayed once, the parliamentary and presidential polls - now scheduled for July and August - are provoking a debate over what should come first: national security or democratic process. full report