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Rio+20 : Water, women and politics
For Media

Hotels for Press
Accommodation levels in Rio de Janeiro are anticipated to be at full occupancy during the conference. While it is not the responsibility of the United Nations to procure accommodation for the media, it should be noted that the Brazilian national organizing committee for Rio+20 has committed to blocking a minimum of 500 hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro for media covering the conference. Costs must be covered by the media. For more details, visit: http://www.rio20.gov.br For information regarding room availability please contact: Terramar Travel Agency

Emails: reservas2@terramar.tur.br or reservas4@terramar.tur.br or reservas8@terramar.tur.br

Tel: (+55+21) 35120067 or (+55+11) 30142042 or (+55+19) 35145600

Media representatives must present their approval letter and copy rio20.hoteis@itamaraty.gov.br when requesting their accommodations.

Information

Water, women and politics
Celebrations of the achievement, five years early, of the millennium development goal (MDG) target on safe drinking water were tempered last week by concerns that millions of people still do not have access to water.

This week, government leaders, scientists and business chiefs are meeting at the World Water Forum (WWF) in Marseille, France, to discuss possible solutions to the global crisis.

Alongside the six-day international conference, water activists are holding their own alternative forum, which begins on Wednesday, to promote public and community-led water management. Activists have criticised the WWF for promoting the interests of large corporations, rather than the needs of millions of people.

Claire Provost, in Marseille, and the Global development team in London will be reporting from both events this week. Tell us on our talk point if there is anything you would like us to try to find out, and what you think are the greatest global water challenges. And send us your photos on water projects.

Follow coverage on our new page looking at the issue of water access.

Elsewhere on the site

The NGO Oxfam called for urgent action to stave off a humanitarian emergency in the Sahel as it launched an appeal for funds. According to the UN, more than 13 million people are at risk of hunger in west Africa.

In the run-up to International Women's Day, we launched a series looking at the politics behind gender policy. Among the articles featured so far, Andrea Cornwall discussed whether donor policies brought sustained change for women; Maxine Molyneux looked at cash transfer schemes, which are targeted at women; and Mariz Tadros debated the use of quotas in politics.

Responding to Liz Alden Wily's blogpost on land deals in Africa, Salil Tripathi and Wambui Kimathi argued that companies investing in land need guidelines to ensure the human rights and dignity of local communities are protected.

Meanwhile, looking ahead to the Rio+20 conference in June, Melissa Leach argued that sustainable development goals will not work if the pre-summit debate pretends politics do not matter.

Coming up on the site

We'll have all the latest news and opinion from the World Water Forum and the Alternative World Water Forum in France, plus, on Wednesday, a gallery of some of the world's most controversial dam projects.

Phoebe Greenwood reports on a dispute over solar panels in the West Bank, while Anna da Costa looks at an organic farming project in India.

We'll be looking at the impact of oil on Ugandan communities and we'll be reporting on development projects in Jordan and the West Bank.

And after such a great response to our call for your photos for International Women's Day, we're hoping to publish another gallery of your images this week. Have a look at other readers' pictures in the Flickr group and see how to add yours there, or email them to us via development@guardian.co.uk.

Multimedia

Video: Niger faces food shortages

Poor rains and a bad harvest in 2011 has left an estimated 5 million Nigeriens at risk of hunger in the coming months. Effective food distribution could avert disaster in the coming months, but long-term solutions are needed to prevent future emergencies. Celeste Hicks visits projects in the central Keita region, one of the most badly hit areas of the country.

In pictures: Cartoons exploring women's place in society around the world

To mark International Women's Day, we selected a series of cartoons depicting women's rights and empowerment - or lack of - from the Cartoon Movement, a global collaborative platform for editorial cartoons and comics journalism.

In pictures: International Women's Day 2012: Your photos

We celebrated International Women's Day with your pictures, submitted to our Guardian Global development Flickr group.

Guardian International Development Journalism Competition

Entries are now open for the Guardian's 2012 International Development Journalism Competition. The competition is open to UK residents. Hear from previous winners and find out this year's themes and how to enter.

Community photo project

Got a development story to tell this year? Is something in your life, work or local neighbourhood expected to change over the coming months? We want you to get involved with our 2012 community photo project to document a slice of your life. More details are on our talk point and Flickr group.
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