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ACCRA, Ghana – Mental illness is widely thought to be a spiritual matter in Ghana — and so-called “prayer camps” fill the vacuum left by inadequate psychiatric health facilities. But an international human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, alleges the camps are unfit to deal with patients and are guilty of abuses.
DJIBO, Burkina Faso – More than 60,000 refugees have fled Mali’s troubled north to Burkina Faso, where nearly three million people are already facing dangerous food shortages after poor rains and a failed harvest this year. The compound crises are straining relief efforts for the refugees, as well as local communities.
DIOURBEL, Senegal – Humanitarian agencies in Africa’s Sahel region are struggling to deal with a cycle of chronic food crisis. Some are moving away from traditional food aid in favor of “cash for work” programs that pay villagers to work on community improvement projects. The U.S. government is considering shifting as much as 45 percent of its $1.4 billion of traditional food aid in this direction. One such program, funded by the USAID Food for Peace Initiative, has been underway for the past seven months.