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Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

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Hunger in a fertile land...

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AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville peace talks suspended

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ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

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TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

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Gaza: children caught up in the conflict

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Was the UN chief’s speech in Tel Aviv really a 'shameful message'?

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France concerned about anti-Semitism

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We travel across the globe and meet the people behind the most fascinating environmental, health and technological innovations in a bid for sustainable solutions to our changing world. Join the team every other Sunday at 8.45 pm Paris time.

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

2014-06-22 water

Microplastics: The planet's tiny threat

Tiny plastic particles, barely visible, are infecting the world's sea and oceans, where they're being eaten by fish and other aquatic species before making their way up the food...

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2014-06-09 technology

Biomimicry: Hacking nature

Biomimicry is the science of mimicking life. Have millions of years of evolution churned out all the answers?

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2014-05-25 technology

Japan: Robots that care

This week, Down to Earth explores Japan's efforts to embrace robots to fill the gap left by a growing shortage of manpower.It's no secret that Japan is facing a demographic...

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2014-05-11 Sustainable development

Japan: Fukushima fallout

It's more than three years since an earthquake and tsunami crippled Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant and authorities are still battling to contain the fallout.

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2014-04-27 women

South Africa's iron lady

She's been named Africa's CEO of the year and there's no sign she is going to stop there. This week we're Down to Earth with Daphne Mashile-Nkosi, the first woman to own a mine...

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