Highlights - July to September 2016

Vivien Cumming/IRIN

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Saudi Arabia exclusively invites Middle East Editor Annie Slemrod for rare meetings with its military and humantiarian officials 
  • IRIN hires Miranda Grant, award-winning multimedia journalist and digital producer, as multimedia producer
  • IRIN's staff from around the world come together for the annual team meeting in Geneva

FIVE MOST POPULAR

1. Aleppo is screwed. Thanks everyone. In this report, head of Enterprise Projects and former head of UNOCHA in Syria Ben Parker takes an expert look at international failings over Syria. While Aleppo’s hundreds of thousands of civilians could well be “besieged, used as human shields, forced to flee, or all three”, UN and NGO credibility are under fire and divisions in the aid community rife. IRIN highlights the lack of preparedness among these organisations for a new wave of mass displacement, and exposed a UN-OCHA grant of more than $750,000 to a charity chaired by the president’s wife, highlighting the UN’s inappropriately close relationship with the Syrian government.  

2. How will joining the UN change IOM? Sixty-five years after its creation, the International Organization for Migration joins the United Nations at a time when "migration is now front and centre as one of the great political challenges of our era." IRIN Migration Editor Kristy Siegfried asks whether the agency will finally get "a seat at the table".

3. EXCLUSIVE: Inside Saudi Arabia’s Yemen war rooms: Allowed rare access to the Saudi military's targeting cells, IRIN Middle East Editor Annie Slemrod discovers an anodyne operation that couldn’t be further from the horror on the ground in Yemen.

“We choose our targets very carefully." - Lieutenant General Fayyad al-Ruwaili

Kind Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre

4. EXCLUSIVE: UN paying blacklisted diamond company in Central African Republic: IRIN's investigative unit reveals that the UN has paid more than half a million dollars to a company on its own sanctions list for allegedly fueling the conflict in Central African Republic. "These recent findings... reflect the failure of the international community to address the financing of the armed conflicts in CAR," says Nathalia Dukhan from the Enough Project, a campaign which aims to end genocide and mass atrocities in Africa.  

5. Afghanistan overwhelmed as refugees return from Pakistan: IRIN provides early warning to the humanitarian crisis looming in Afghanistan, where thousands of refugees from Pakistan are returning daily, joining hundreds of thousands already displaced by war. "We are in a race against time to provide enough shelter and sanitation facilities to families arriving before the wet winter season," says Will Carter of the Norwegian Refugee Council. "I must say I’m startled at how little media coverage this is receiving," is the reaction of one reader at the European Commission.

SPECIAL & MULTIMEDIA REPORTS

From July to September, 20 percent of IRIN's reports contain original multimedia content, such as slideshows, graphs, films or timelines:

In August, IRIN hired Multimedia Producer Miranda Grant, who started with a bang for World Humanitarian Day with this moving film on Millie Wonder, a rape survivor who gives self-defence training to schoolgirls in a Nairobi slum:

This in-depth report exposes an impeding health crisis in poor tropical countries, as climate change and overfishing threaten global fish stocks. Through personal accounts, data, analysis, and striking films and photos, IRIN's multi-part feature explores where the world is going wrong and how poor fishing communities can and must adapt.

IRIN continues to produce data visualisations making complicated information digestible and giving context to crises. In July, as South Sudan turned five years old, this series of graphs looks at conflict fatalities, hyperinflation, humanitarian aid, displaced people and food insecurity, bringing the focus back to the human consequences of the ongoing conflict. 

IRIN's special report How Kenya’s al-Shabab amnesty is a loaded gun seeks accountability for regular disapearances by al-Shabab fighters after they turn themselves in. “There is nothing like amnesty. It’s a trap," one 26-year-old former al-Shabab fighter tells IRIN. "What they mean is they send someone to follow you, and you have days to live. Those who went for the amnesty said the government had forgiven them, but that is not the case.”

LATIN AMERICA

Since July, IRIN has stepped-up its reporting from Latin America, with an in-depth look into gang violence as a humanitarian crisis, what Colombia's peace process can teach the world and the migration crisis on America's doorstep, in light of two global refugee summits taking place in New York in September.

REACH

From July to September, IRIN's stories were shared on social media by - among others - Peter Maurer (President of the International Committee of the Red Cross), Jeremy Konyndyk (head of the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assitance), Nicholas Kristof and Somini Sengupta (New York Times journalists), Chris Gunness (Spokesman of the UN agency for Palestine refugees), Calestrous Juma (Harvard Professor), Lotte Leight (Human Rights Watch EU Director), AJ Stream, the Norwegian Refugee Council, BBC Media Action and Action Against Hunger.

IRIN's content potentially reached more than 9 million people through Twitter and Facebook impressions. These months also saw an average of 170,000 visitors to the website.

TWITTER

  • Followers on Twitter have grown to 62,400, an increase of 22 percent from end of September 2015.
  • From July to September, IRIN saw close to 3.2 million impressions, 41,500 engagements and 3,000 new followers - around 33 per day.

FACEBOOK 

  • At more than 32,600, followers on Facebook are up 23 percent from end of September 2015.

OUTREACH AND PARTNERSHIPS

  • IRIN’s film “The Body Collector”, the story of a young Sierra Leonean risking his life to fight Ebola, was screened at the World Humanitarian Day film festival in Geneva.
  • IRIN Africa Editor and Editor-at-Large Obi Anyadike spoke at the Aidex Africa conference in Nairobi about localisation and the aid and development architecture, and protracted crises and localisation.
  • ABC's Middle East Bureau interviewed IRIN Middle East Editor Annie Slemrod about the failure of the UN in Fallujah; US Politics and Reality Radio interviewed IRIN Migration Editor Kristy Siegfried about gangs in South America. 

In August, staff from Phnom Penh, Nairobi, Jerusalem, London and beyond travelled to Geneva for IRIN's annual staff meeting, for three intensive days of strategy, training and teambuilding. Guest speakers included Peter Maurer, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross; editors from the Economist and Foreign Policy; and experts in international humanitarian law and investigative journalism.

IMPACT

  • IRIN's special multimedia Forgotten Conflicts feature Blue Nile - Sudan's Forgotten Front  won second place in the National Press Photographer's Association (NPPA) Quarterly Multimedia Contest and was shortlisted for an Amnesty International Media Award in the multimedia category.
  • An IRIN report on the need to reform refugee protection frameworks inspired a group of Canadians to address a petition to the United Nations and Security Council.

LANGUAGE SERVICE

From July to September, IRIN published 130 reports in English and translated 62 into Arabic and 42 into French.

PRODUCTION BY THEME, REGION & FORMAT

Thank you to our donors: the Loterie Romandethe Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and Stichting Vluchteling; and to our partner the Overseas Development Institute.