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EYE ON AFRICA

Tunisia's Parliament votes on new Government

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MEDIAWATCH

French court rules #burkini ban "clearly illegal"

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Biden in Turkey, Colombia Peace Deal, Ethiopia Olympic Protest (part 2)

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Earthquake in Italy, French Burkini Ruling (part 1)

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FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

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FOCUS

Pro-Opposition stronghold Port-Gentil feverishly awaits presidential elections

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ENCORE!

Alexis Michalik: treading the boards in the footsteps of 'Edmond'

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REPORTERS

Getting away with murder in DR Congo

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IN THE PAPERS

'Why does Italy refuse to see the seismic risk?'

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We travel to meet the people behind fascinating environmental, health and technological innovations in a bid for sustainable solutions to our changing world. Saturday at 6.10 pm. We’ll be back in September with a new series.

DOWN TO EARTH

DOWN TO EARTH

Latest update : 2014-05-29

Flat-pack shelters for Syrian refugees

Could a flat-pack, solar-powered shelter improve the lives of some of the 45 million displaced people in the world? This week the team from Down to Earth visits a camp in Iraq where Syrian refugees are trialling a new emergency shelter that incorporates the latest Swedish design.

The shelters, known simply as Refugee Housing Units, are the result of a joint project between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Ikea Foundation. When the partnership was announced, many wondered whether the Swedish furniture giant could apply its principles of low-cost, easy-to-assemble design to emergency shelters. Today, 40 prototypes are being tested in Iraq and Ethiopia.

Certain governments are however reluctant to trial these shelters, out of fear that better housing will encourage the refugees to stay too long.

By Mairead DUNDAS , Marina BERTSCH , Kadir DEMIR , Juliette LACHARNAY , Anna-Gaëlle Brault

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Archives

2016-07-14 women

Women and work: Why parity could add trillions to global growth

The world is a better place for women and girls in 2016 than even a decade ago. But that's not the case for everyone, and certainly not everywhere. Access to job opportunities is...

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2016-07-01 environment

Extinction crisis: Saving the planet's species from an irreversible fate

Species are disappearing faster than at any time since the dinosaurs' demise. Scientists are calling it the sixth mass extinction and it's largely driven by man. This week the...

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2016-06-10 drones

Drones to the rescue: How pilotless aircraft are saving lives

Historically known for taking lives, drones are now emerging as one of the most promising tools for health and emergency services.

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2016-05-27 Sustainable development

Plastic planet: Using today's resources tomorrow

This week Down to Earth explores the alarming rate in which plastic has plastered the planet. Since it was invented a century ago the petroleum-based material has invaded all...

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2016-05-13 Senegal

Senegal: Lighting the way for off-grid communities

In this new episode of "Down to Earth", we head to Senegal, where only three out of five households have access to electricity

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