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20 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

OXFORD, 20 April 2015 (IRIN) - Every time a migrant boat capsizes, a death toll is estimated by aid agencies and reproduced in media reports. But what about that other number? What about all those who die before ever setting foot on a boat? That number may be far higher.

Some 1,600 migrants have died or are missing after trying to cross the Mediterranean this year, including almost 700 who perished in last weekend’s tragedy off Libya, the worst on record.

20 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

BENGHAZI - This time the explosion is close enough to make Saïd take notice. A cappuccino in his hand, he walks to the door of the café, peers out and discusses it with other customers.

“Two or three kilometres from here, it’s ok,” he says, wandering back inside.

20 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

BAGHDAD, 20 April 2015 (IRIN) - Thousands of Iraqis fleeing the so-called Islamic State are being prevented from entering Baghdad and other cities because local officials fear IS sleeper cells could be among them.

IS militants have overtaken parts of the city of Ramadi, causing more than 4,000 families to flee the area in recent days.

At Bzebez bridge, which links Anbar and Baghdad provinces some 30 kilometres southwest of Baghdad, thousands wait at checkpoints while officials demand residents in the capital vouch for them before they enter.

20 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

LAMPEDUSA/OXFORD, 20 avril 2015 (IRIN) - Il ne fait aucun doute que l’augmentation estivale du nombre de traversées de la Méditerranée par les migrants à déjà commencé. Le weekend dernier, les autorités italiennes ont en effet secouru 8 500 migrants et signalé la mort de près de 400 autres.

18 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

BUGESERA, 16 avril 2015 (IRIN) - Des milliers de Burundais ont fui leur pays par crainte des violences qui pourraient éclater à l’approche de l’élection présidentielle qui doit avoir lieu en juin.

« Le Burundi est assis sur une bombe à retardement. Il est triste que le monde extérieur en fasse aussi peu de cas », a dit à IRIN Justin Rwasa, qui fait partie des quelque 4 000 Burundais qui ont trouvé refuge au Rwanda voisin.

17 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

By Joe Dyke and Almigdad Mojalli

AMMAN/SANA'A, 16 April 2015 (IRIN) - A ban on shipping in Yemeni waters is worsening a severe fuel shortage that could have a devastating impact on public health.

Three weeks into a Saudi-led bombing campaign against Houthi rebels and with intense fighting continuing on the ground, the country is close to running out of fuel.

16 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

By Carolina Montenegro and Kristy Siegfried

LAMPEDUSA/OXFORD, 15 April 2015 (IRIN) - With Italian authorities rescuing 8,500 migrants in the Mediterranean over the weekend and reports up to 400 may have perished, there can be no doubt that an unprecedented summer surge in migrant sea crossings is already under way.

15 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

By Louise Redvers

BAGHDAD / DUBAI, 15 April 2015 (IRIN) - Islamic State militants play on sectarian division as they tear Iraq apart, but a group of young Iraqi “citizen ambassadors” is trying to mend the damage by promoting a message of tolerance and peace.

Rasha al-Samarai is one of nearly 2.8 million Iraqis to have fled their homes in the last 16 months as IS has swallowed up a quarter of the country and large swathes of neighbouring Syria.

14 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

NAIROBI, 14 April 2015 (IRIN) - The cyclone-hit Pacific islands of Vanuatu are the latest proving ground for new information technology and the digital humanitarian volunteers that are now an integral part of disaster response.

When Cyclone Pam, a Category 5 storm, tore through the island chain last month bringing surging seas and 250 kmh winds, a network of humanitarian data technicians quickly mobilized along with the traditional aid responders.

14 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

PLACE, 14 April 2015 (IRIN) - Thousands of Burundians have fled their country, fearing it might descend into violence ahead of a presidential election scheduled for June.

“Burundi is sitting on a time-bomb and it’s sad that the outside world does not care,” Justin Rwasa, one of around 4,000 Burundians to have sought refuge in neighbouring Rwanda, told IRIN.

14 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

SANA'A, 14 April 2015 (IRIN) - As a Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen heads towards its third week and fighting across the country intensifies, humanitarian agencies are increasingly unable to provide aid, while food and water prices are spiking. Civilians caught up in the conflict are struggling to survive.

Many, like 56-year-old Mansour Al-Hamedi, have fled the capital Sana’a and other big cities for their home villages.

13 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

MAROUA, 13 April 2015 (IRIN) - How do you vaccinate women and children against polio in remote areas prey to attack from Boko Haram militants? Arm the soldiers with vaccine. This is exactly what has happened with great success in northern Cameroon.

Following a series of abductions last year by Boko Haram groups, military escorts have been joining vaccination drives in Cameroon’s Far North Region to protect both local and international humanitarian workers.

13 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

By John Sahr Sahid

FREETOWN, 9 April 2015 (IRIN) - As part of Sierra Leone's bid to combat Ebola, the entire population of more than six million people was obliged to stay at home for up to three days straight on two occasions during the past year.

Officials say the lockdowns - dozens more have also taken place in localised “hot zones” - do much to achieve the government’s goal of reaching zero cases of the Ebola virus, but poor Sierra Leoneans can barely afford to miss several days of vital earnings in a row.

13 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

NEW YORK, 13 avril 2015 (IRIN) - « Milieu urbain » semble être la nouvelle expression à la mode dans les cercles humanitaires, mais les agences d’aide ont été lentes à la traduire en actions concrètes.

13 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

DADAAB, KENYA, 13 April 2015 (IRIN) - A threat from Kenya’s deputy president to send back hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees in the wake of the Garissa university shooting has prompted alarm in the camps and rebuke from advocacy groups and even some MPs.

It may not reflect government policy, but William Ruto declared on Saturday in a televised speech: “We have asked the UNHCR [the UN Refugee Agency] to relocate the refugees in three months, failure to which we shall relocate them ourselves.”

12 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

BAORO, 9 avril 2015 (IRIN) - La salle était comble. Tout le monde voulait parler, ce qui n’est pas surprenant après des années d’un conflit ethnique et religieux qui a fait des milliers de morts en République centrafricaine (RCA).

Après avoir été ignorés toute leur vie, les citoyens ordinaires de la RCA ont finalement eu la parole et profité de cette occasion unique de dire ses quatre vérités au pouvoir en place.

10 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

DADAAB REFUGEE COMPLEX, Kenya, 10 April 2015 (IRIN) - Hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees are among those hardest hit by Kenya’s closure of remittance firms in the wake of the 2 April shooting of at least 147 university students in Garissa by Al-Shabab militants.

Thirteen such firms had their licences revoked on 7 April by the Central Bank of Kenya in a measure the government said was designed to curb the financing of terrorism.

10 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

OXFORD, 10 avril 2015 (IRIN) - Un camion transportant des médicaments essentiels vers un camp de réfugiés isolé situé près de la frontière entre la Mauritanie et le Mali se renverse pendant son trajet de 2 000 kilomètres à travers le Sahara. C’est la saison des pluies et la moitié de la cargaison est endommagée par la boue et inutilisable.

10 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

By Joe Dyke

BEIRUT, 9 April 2015 (IRIN) - Warnings about the scale of the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Yemen are becoming graver with each passing day.

On Wednesday, United Nations Special Rapporteur Chaloka Beyani predicted “massive displacement and humanitarian crisis,” and said: “The international community must prepare for a worst-case scenario.”

The following day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that countless civilians were being “willfully abandoned to misery.”

Here are four reasons why the plight of civilians in Yemen is so severe:

09 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

By John Sahr Sahid

FREETOWN, 9 April 2015 (IRIN) - As part of Sierra Leone's bid to combat Ebola, the entire population of more than six million people has been obliged to stay at home for up to four days straight on two occasions over the past year.

Officials say the lockdowns - dozens more have also taken place in localised “hot zones” - do much to achieve the government’s goal of reaching zero cases of the Ebola virus, but poor Sierra Leoneans can barely afford to miss several days of vital earnings in a row.