Ahmedabad: Embarrassed by Tajikistan in the opening match, hosts India will be desperate for a better show when they take on North Korea in a do-or-die match of Intercontinental Cup football tournament, here Saturday. Defending champions India suffered a 2-4 defeat against Tajikistan on July 7 and that result has placed them in a precarious position in the race for the final. The top two teams will make it to the final in the four-team event. India cannot lose any match out of the remaining two if they are to qualify for the final on July 19. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football togetherIndia led 2-0 at half time against Tajikistan through goals from captain Sunil Chhetri but then let in four goals in the second half to lose the match. An out-of-sorts Indian defence crumbled into pieces and undid all the good work done in the first session. Adil Khan and debutant Narender Gahlot, who manned the central defence, were found wanting on many occasions, while wing backs Rahul Bheke and Mandar Rao Desai also struggled. Most of Tajikistan attacks came from the right side through Bheke. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian OpenThe Indian back-four committed mistakes after mistakes in the second half but to be fair to them, all of them were an inexperienced lot at the international stage. Gahlot and Desai debuted for India in that match while Adil and Bheke were just a few matches old. Senior player and defensive mainstay Sandesh Jhingan did not play as he had a minor niggle while his earlier long time partner in central defence, Anas Edathodika, who was called out from retirement, was not 100 per cent fit and did not make it to the final 23-member squad. But the Indian team will now be boosted with the likely return of Jhingan who is available for the North Korea match. He is expected to marshall the Indian defence to a much improved show. North Korea will also go into Saturday’s match with the same mind set as India as they had suffered a 2-5 defeat against Syria in their campaign opener. Their defence also looked shaky against Syria, letting in five goals, with four coming in the second half, and Chhetri and Co. will look to exploit the chinks in North Korea’s armoury. Chhetri scored India’s first goal against Tajikistan through a cheeky ‘panenka’ from the dreaded spot in the fourth minute and another clinical finish in the 41st minute to showcase his goal-scoring prowess.
“Resources currently in-hand do not guarantee a full relief food basket for beneficiaries,” said the latest weekly update on Ethiopia compiled by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).It also added that “without additional resources, the food sector projects a full pipeline break in a couple of months.”$1.2 billion is needed for food relief to10.2 million people. However, the current appeal is only funded by one third. Given the lead times necessary for the procurement of relief items, the Government and its international partners have called for early action to this slow onset natural disaster.Fragmentation of delivery is of critical priority as it has negative implications for nutrition and health, and the beneficiaries have to travel more than twice to the food distribution point within short period. Meanwhile, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is helping deliver food to 2 million people and has started using the humanitarian supplies from the Port of Berbera in Somaliland. Further, the allocation-dispatch-distribution is being finalized in about 4 weeks and the geographic and programmatic priorities for the first quarter of 2016 have also been completed by OCHA’s inter-cluster group and its country team.Child protection is another concern due to drought, as poor families are taking negative coping mechanisms such as child marriage. As such, Child Protection Rapid Assessments (CPRA) validation and drought response planning workshops are being held at national and regional levels. However, financial requirements are also expected to expedite this exercise. The El Niño global climactic event has wreaked havoc on Ethiopia’s summer rains, says OCHA. This comes on the heels of failed spring rains, and has driven food insecurity, malnutrition and water shortages in affected areas of the country.The current El Niño pattern, being the strongest ever recorded, has caused severe drought in the Horn of Africa nation, resulting in crop reduction by 50 to 90 per cent and leaving some 10.2 million people food insecure. read more