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FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

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FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

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#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

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THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

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#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

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FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

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ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

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REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

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BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

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DOWN TO EARTH

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.

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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