IRIN News - Namibia
about IRIN services
IRIN's principal role is to provide news and analysis about sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia for the humanitarian community.

Photo: IRIN Radio
IRIN Radio Angola, helping local voices be heard
The networks target decision-makers in relief agencies, host and donor governments, human-rights organisations, humanitarian advocacy groups, academic institutions and the media. At the same time, IRIN strives to ensure that affected communities can also access reliable information, so they can take informed decisions about their future.

IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) is part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, but its services are editorially independent. Its reports do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations and its agencies, not its member states.

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, IRIN was founded in 1995 to improve the flow of vital information to those involved in relief efforts in the Great Lakes region following the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

IRIN's area of geographical coverage has increased steadily since then. So too, have the range of subjects covered and the number of services offered.

The core news and analysis service is distributed free of charge to subscribers by e-mail, and via the website This is now complemented by a range of other multimedia services:

PlusNews, a specialist news and analysis service on HIV/AIDS.
IRIN Radio, which is helping to develop the programming of radio stations in Africa and Afghanistan.
IRIN Film & TV, which produces short documentary films on humanitarian issues and news footage for media.
IRIN Photo provides a public gallery of photographs relevant to humanitarian crises. Print-quality photos can be downloaded free of charge.
IRIN has a growing worldwide readership of millions through these services.

Photo: Gabriel Galwak/IRIN
Waiting to go home, Sudanese refugees at Kakuma camp in Kenya. From a report prepared by IRIN's Sudan correspondent
Most of IRIN's output is in English, with a limited French service. PlusNews produces material in English, French and Portuguese. IRIN radio produces programmes on over a dozen languages. Plans for humanitarian news and analysis output in Arabic are well-advanced.

Areas covered by IRIN include parts of Asia, the Middle East and all of sub-Saharan Africa.

news & analysis
IRIN's reporting is underpinned by rigorous editorial standards. Strict controls are employed to ensure that its reports are accurate, fair, carefully sourced and rich in perspective.

The regional desks in Nairobi, Johannesburg, Dakar and Dubai are staffed by experienced journalists, who travel frequently within the countries they cover to report directly from the humanitarian frontline.

An IRIN In-Depth looks at transitional justice and impunity
Their research and writing is supplemented by news reports and features from an extended network of staff in sub-offices and freelance correspondents in the field. They give IRIN a permanent presence on the ground in every hot spot, and enable the networks to continue reporting directly from areas deemed too insecure for the UN's international staff to visit.

Set up in 2003, the IRIN Analysis Unit examines key issues that often cut across national boundaries, by producing special in-depth reports and publications. Recently, these have examined issues such as water crises, transitional justice, small arms and youth in crisis.

PlusNews, IRIN's HIV/AIDS news and analysis service
In 2001, IRIN saw the need for a specialist news service for people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa and all those involved in fighting the pandemic - thus PlusNews was born.

Photo: Georgina Cranston/IRIN
The number of people receiving ARVs in developing countries has more than doubled. From one of many PlusNews reports
PlusNews is edited by a specialist team of journalists in Johannesburg, and has its own website

The scope of PlusNews has been gradually extended to all countries and regions covered by IRIN and beyond. The service is now a recognised leader in HIV/AIDS-related news and analysis. Since 2004, PlusNews has been available in French.

radio services
IRIN Radio is active in Afghanistan, Cote d’Ivoire, Somalia and Uganda. The service has produced news programmes that have reached millions of people, and works with radio stations in conflict-affected countries to help improve their programming. IRIN supports these stations through the co-production of programmes, including soap operas and news magazine shows, as well as in training radio journalists.

film services
IRIN produced a short film in 2003 about the forgotten plight of people terrorised by the Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda, which was widely distributed to the humanitarian community and the media on CD-ROM as part of advocacy efforts to highlight the situation.

An IRIN documentary on cluster bombs in Lebanon
In 2004, it established a permanent film unit based in Nairobi which now makes documentaries to highlight under-reported issues and specific countries of concern.

Films produced so far have focused on issues such as: the crisis in Darfur, Southern Sudan; the 2004 locust invasion of West Africa; sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo; female genital mutilation, opium cultivation in Afghanistan, cluster bombs and the fragile situation in Somalia.

Besides producing and distributing its own documentaries, IRIN also shoots news footage of under-reported emergencies for distribution to the international media.

Photo services
To complement its text services, IRIN has provided high-quality photographs to its humanitarian partners and the media through the creation of IRIN Photo in 2005. Alongside its news services, IRIN makes its photos available free of charge (mainly to non-profits) to enhance awareness of humanitarian needs and response and to encourage greater media coverage of forgotten and under-reported crises. IRIN photos are used widely by news websites, print publications, NGOs, blogs and UN organisations.

Contact Information
For further information, please send an e-mail or telephone the IRIN offices in:
Nairobi: +254 20 762 2147
Geneva: +41 22 917 1135
New York: +1 917 367 2422

Copyright information
Available at

Free e-mail subscriptions
Over 30,000 readers are subscribed to free, personalised e-mail delivery of IRIN material. For subscription, go to or contact

Awards and prizes
In August of 2008, the Gender and Media (GEM) Awards honoured two IRIN PlusNews journalists, Kristy Siegfried and Kanya Ndaki, for their work on “sustained reporting on a particular issue” - in this case microbicides and HIV prevention trials in Southern Africa and “best practice HIV/AIDS reporting”. This year’s gender and media awards attracted 62 entries.

In October, IRIN photographer Julius Mwelu received the Young Reporter’s Award at the Bayeux-Calvados international awards for his photos of post-election violence in Kenya in early 2008.

In May he won first prize in the 2008 Friends of the Earth International Dreams, Hopes and Possibilities for a Better Future photo competition. His winning photo, entitled Building Towards the Future, shows a boy planting a flower after taking a swim in a pond in Kibera, a Nairobi slum.

In April, IRIN films received the Czech Republic Environment Minister’s Award for Slum Survivors - reality in Nairobi's Kibera - October 2007 at the festival TUR Ostrava.

In 2006, IRIN PlusNews journalist Kanya Ndaki received the GEM Award for the best print feature on gender and AIDS for South Africa: Virginity testing - absence of a small tissue becomes big issue.

In 2006, IRIN films received the third prize for Deadly Catch: Lake Victoria’s AIDS crisis - November 2005 from the Stories from the Field Film Festival, the annual UN Documentary Film Festival.

In the same year, IRIN films was also an official selection in the Jackson Hole Film Festival and Bologna Human Rights Festival. PlusNews received the Golden Lamp Award for Best Media Depiction.

In 2005, IRIN films was awarded the first prize for Our Bodies... their battleground: Gender-based Violence during Conflict - September 2004 from Stories from the Field Film Festival, the annual UN Documentary Film Festival.

In 2002, IRIN director Pat Banks received the UN 21 Award in recognition of an exceptional contribution in improving efficiency in the UN.

Evaluation reports, funding documents and surveys
IRIN undertakes an annual readership review and issues annual funding documents and progress reports:
IRIN Evaluation Report - March 2003
IRIN Readership Evaluation 2004
IRIN Progress Report 2005
IRIN Readership Survey 2006
IRIN Progress Report 2006
IRIN Funding Document 2007

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