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Niger food crisis scheme offers local approach to recurring cycle of hunger

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Guardian

By engaging communities and co-ordinating agency efforts, Niger hopes to end its perennial battle against food shortages

Posted by
Celeste Hicks in Dogo, Monday 17 March 2014 10.33 GMT

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Chad + 2 others
Chad struggles to prevent disease in midst of humanitarian emergency

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Guardian

Chad hit by refugee influx from Darfur and Central African Republic as well as return of its citizens expelled from Libya.

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Mali recovery hampered by poverty and food insecurity

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Guardian

Food programmes aim to help tackle issues caused by flight and displacement, which have left many families without income

At the referral health centre in Gao, northern Mali, Halifatou Alousseini shares a recipe. The 20-year-old mother of three looks almost twice her age, a white headscarf framing a face that is weathered from life in the desert. She explains carefully how to make a nutritious porridge for children from local products, using beans, rice and millet.

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Life after occupation - in pictures

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Guardian

Last year, the remote desert city of Gao in northern Mali, was under the control of Tuareg separatists and jihadist fighters. Nine months after French and Malian troops re-took the city, Mark Tran pays a visit.

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Mali back-to-school campaign faces uphill struggle

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Guardian

Rescue plan backed by Unicef and aimed at 500,000 children hampered by teachers kept from the north by jihadist occupation

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Burkina Faso + 1 other
Sahel villagers fleeing climate change must not be ignored

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Guardian

Those displaced by climate change are not granted refugee status or protection. Their plight should not be overlooked

Migration has always been a way of life in the Sahel, an arid belt of land that stretches across Africa just south of the Sahara. Many of the region's 100 million inhabitants lived for millennia as nomadic pastoralists who moved with their herds in search of water and pasture.

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Mali + 4 others
Mali election: thousands of displaced people face exclusion from vote

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Guardian

Majority of Malians who fled war in the north fail to receive voters' cards, leaving them without a voice in Sunday's polls.

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Mali + 1 other
Follow the Niger and Mali models to tackle malnutrition

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Guardian

Preventing malnutrition means providing vaccinations, breastfeeding support, and treatment for illness as well as highly nutritious food.

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Niger + 3 others
How can tree stumps improve agricultural productivity?

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Guardian

There's a received wisdom that tree stumps, shoots and bushes should be cleared from a field before planting crops. It seems logical, but the experience of farmers in southern Niger suggests otherwise. There, the practice of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) has been found to significantly improve soil quality and crop yields, along with additional resources and income from tree products.

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Niger + 1 other
Niger offers hope of homegrown solutions to Sahel crises

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Guardian

Those working to combat food insecurity in the Sahel need to "get their thinking together" and realise that it could take several years for the poorest families to recover from three successive regional droughts and hunger crises, says the new regional co-ordinator of the World Food Programme (WFP).

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Mali braced for food shortages as conflict leaves a mark

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Guardian

On the banks of the river Niger at the Koriame Port, 18km (11 miles) from Timbuktu, Kadja Founè Koninta recounts the birth of her daughter. It was during the occupation of northern Mali by Islamist rebels, she explains, and she – together with her family of fishermen – had just arrived at Koriame when she unexpectedly went into labour. "I gave birth the same day we arrived," she said. "People said it was because of fear."

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Mali + 4 others
No 'magic wand' for Sahel as food shortages loom yet again

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Guardian

WFP says 2012's good harvest in Sahel not enough to alleviate deep-rooted poverty, as millions more face hunger this year

Celeste Hicks

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Families in Mali splintered by slavery as culture and conflict converge

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Guardian

Tuareg rebels are capitalising on fighting in Mali to reacquire former captives whom they regard as their property from birth

Celeste Hicks in Bamako

"I haven't heard anything about my brother for more than a year," says Raichatou Walet Touka. She's been living at a safehouse in Bamako, Mali's capital, after fleeing the northern town of Gao following an attack by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), a Tuareg rebel group that briefly took over northern Mali in early 2012.

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Burkina Faso + 2 others
Tensions mount on Mali-Burkina Faso border as cattle farmers vie for land

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Guardian

Malian farmers and livestock, forced south by conflict, put pressure on land and water resources in the borderlands

The movement of hundreds of thousands of cattle from Mali is threatening peace across the border in Burkina Faso, where tensions are mounting as Malian refugee pastoralists come head to head with local agricultural farmers.

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Niger + 1 other
Niger remains wary of Mali crisis on its doorstep

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Guardian

Niger assisted its neighbour during uprising but has worked hard to shield itself from recent north and west African turmoil

Niger, like Mali, was recently the scene of a military putsch but democracy was soon restored. The Nigerien military handed power back to civilians in 2011, just as they had promised a year earlier when they ousted President Mamadou Tandja, accused of hanging on to power.

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Niger + 8 others
How to build resilience in the Sahel

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Guardian

Helping people to survive drought requires a long-term commitment from governments, donors, institutions and NGOs

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The worst is yet to come

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Guardian

Despite the rapid withdrawal of militants after the arrival of French troops, there are signs that the crisis is far from over

Wednesday 20 February 2013 09.29 EST

Retaking the north was the easy part. Now Mali faces guerrilla attacks, reportedly increasing cooperation between rebel groups, "the Tuareg problem", and a divided government.

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Mali: what we must get right before world's attention falls elsewhere

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Guardian

Mali needs aid donors to focus on resilience, a clear mission for peacekeepers, and peace-building at grassroots in the north

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In Mali, military intervention is not enough

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Guardian

By Kofi Annan

Throughout west Africa, organised crime and drug trafficking pose as great a threat as extremism.

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World + 2 others
From Congo to Mali, peacekeeping in Africa must start at community level

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Guardian

Managing local conflict is vital to peacekeeping, but needs care and continuity – which international bodies often lack

The eastern Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are home to one of the largest peacekeeping forces in the world. The UN's Mission de l'Organisation de Nations Unies en République Démocratique du Congo (Monusco), now 20,000 strong, has been in the area for more than a decade, yet is often regarded as ineffectual.