Bad cops, mean streets – Sunday Tribune/VoA/RTÉ World Report

*Zainab at her stall in Freetown's eastern districts. With GOALs help, she is now off the streets and running her own business. (Photo: Simon Roughneen) FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE – “The police stop us all the time. Sometimes they try to take...

Despite food shortages, Ethiopia to grow biofuel crops – The Irish Examiner

Family in in southwest Ethiopia received some start-up grants to boost farm productivity. (Photo: Simon Roughneen)

DIRE DAWA, EASTERN ETHIOPIA — When drought and food shortages hit, it is the very young who suffer first, and most. Weighing only 4.5 kg, Ayaan is among the almost 100,000 children whose lives are at risk across Ethiopia. Just four days before her first birthday, she weighs no more than an average 3 month old baby. This clinic, about 15 miles outside Ethiopia’s second city Dire Dawa, is seeing an increasing amount of such cases over recent weeks. Here land is used to grow the cash-crop narcotic known as khat. In over a dozen villages on the northbound road out of the city, this reporter witnessed groups of mainly young men, but also some women, getting high in the shade on the chewed leaves. Khat is an appetite-suppressant, and local culture means that children often only eat after adults. And that means “if parents are on khat, the whole family goes hungry,” according to a doctor at the clinic.

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