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EYE ON AFRICA

Donors pledge millions at Uganda refugee summit

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MEDIAWATCH

Depp plumbs depths of bad taste

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

France's new frontman, America's absent center, May's Brexit gambit, Saudi royal reshuffle, after Mosul & Raqqa fall

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REVISITED

Senegal’s Casamance hopes for new era of peace

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THE INTERVIEW

FARC disarmament a 'historic day' for Colombia, says president

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FASHION

Cruise collections: All aboard for Dior and Chanel's latest fashions

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ENCORE!

Colombia comes to France

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#THE 51%

The last taboo: Helping women and girls. Period.

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DOWN TO EARTH

Who benefits when the ice caps melt?

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DOWN TO EARTH

We meet the people behind fascinating environmental, health and technological innovations in a bid for sustainable solutions to our changing world. Saturday at 7.20 pm. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

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

2017-06-20 Antarctica

Who benefits when the ice caps melt?

The Arctic and Antarctica are warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, with the amount of sea ice lost equal to the size of Mexico (when we compare what we have today to...

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2017-06-09 Mars

Could Mars be our Planet B?

As humans continue to ravage Earth, is it time to consider other planets as an alternative home? NASA and a host of private organisations - including Elon Musk's SpaceX - are in...

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2017-05-26 Donald Trump

Trump has already quit the Paris climate deal - just not publicly

It doesn't really matter whether US President Donald Trump pulls his country out of the world's first binding agreement on climate change. All of his actions since taking office...

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2017-05-09 France

Imagining a world without pesticides

After being used for decades by modern intensive agriculture, pesticides are now showing their limits. In southern Africa, a kind of pesticide-resistant caterpillar is destroying...

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2017-04-24 tourism

How green is ecotourism?

In the past few decades, ecotourism has become increasingly popular but still represents only a fraction of the tourist industry: just 5%, according to the UN. For many nature...

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