Visiting droughthit region of Ethiopia Ban urges support to Governmentled humanitarian efforts

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (center, right) meets with Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (center, left), President of Somalia during his official travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his wife Yoo Soon-taek try a water borehole during their visit to Ziway Dugda woreda, Oromia Region. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the media during his visit to Ziway Dugda woreda, Oromia Region. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (at the podium, right) addresses a High-Level Donors Round Table at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) at food distribution center during his visit to Ziway Dugda woreda, Oromia Region. He was accompanied by Demeke Mekonen (Ethiopia), Ertharin Cousin (WFP), and Kyung-wha Kang (OCHA). UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe “The people of this beautiful country are facing their worst drought in thirty years,” Mr. Ban told participants at a donors humanitarian round table convened in the Ethiopian capital in the margins of the 26th African Union Summit. Later in the day, the Secretary-General visited the drought-stricken Oromia region with the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen, and Ertharin Cousin, the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP). Saying that he was “very moved,” Mr. Ban visited a health post, a water borehole and a food distribution and cash transfer point. “This is a very moving experience for me as Secretary-General to witness myself how the Ethiopian Government and the United Nations agencies, the World Bank, all humanitarian workers are working together to address difficult challenges,” he said noting that the area has been seriously impacted by long spells of drought caused by El Niño climate phenomenon. “It is important that the Government is leading this response and the United Nations is now helping: it is quite moving,” he reiterated. The Secretary-General went on to say that when he saw the people working and trying to get water and trying to improve their health nutrition conditions, it took him back brought more than 60 years ago “when […] I was a young boy in Korea, early 1950s. As you may know, Korea had war at the time. When the war broke out, we were [in a situation] as difficult as people are now here, even more difficult at the time.” He said he was very much grateful to all humanitarian workers at the small health post where he had seen health workers distributing vaccines, and providing check-ups. It was impressive to see that malnutrition levels had dropped significantly and that people had been saved from malaria. “The United Nations is committed to help Ethiopia to overcome this challenge. This challenge may last some time but with continuous concerted efforts, I think we can overcome – and I am very much moved to have seen how hard we are working,” said Mr. Ban. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a cash transfer point during his visit to Ziway Dugda woreda, Oromia Region. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe ‹› In the Ethiopian capital, he told the donors’ meeting that the scale of the emergency is too much for any single Government. “The impact of El Niño is unpredictable, but experts say it is likely to affect food security for the next two years,” he stressed. “The Government of Ethiopia has shown remarkable leadership in this drought response. It has made the greatest financial contribution, allocating more than $381 million to the crisis so far,” said the UN chief, noting that the Government-managed Productive Safety Net Programme, in partnership with the World Bank, aims to assist some eight million people with emergency food and cash transfers. Yet, while the United Nations boosted early action through some $25 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in 2015, more is urgently needed. “Immediate support for Ethiopia will save lives and avoid preventable suffering. Immediate support will also safeguard the impressive development gains that Ethiopia has made over the past years and decades, Mr. Ban explained. Such support would also strengthen Ethiopia’s national distribution channels and social support networks, and build resilience for the future, he underscored. Noting that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed by UN Member States last year are based on the promise to leave no one behind, the Secretary-General said that humanitarian crises are the main reason why some 100 million people are currently “left far behind,” in the Horn of Africa and elsewhere. “The World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on 23 and 24 May will be an opportunity to ensure that we start supporting those furthest behind first,” he noted and expressed the hope that the participants at today’s event are already engaged in the Summit process. “We need to hear your voices in Istanbul,” he said. By contributing to humanitarian aid, donors are helping to fulfil the international community’s pledge to the most vulnerable. Support for the Ethiopian Government and people through the current crisis will be a critical test of our commitment to implementing the SDGs, stressed the UN chief. “We face unrelenting humanitarian needs around the world. Many are generated by conflict and displacement. These human-made crises are extremely difficult to resolve and can last for years or even decade,” he noted, but stressed that the needs generated by El Niño are limited. “We know it will pass, and the situation will improve. This crisis will end.” “Until it does, I urge you to make the investment that is needed now, to support the Ethiopian Government and people through the difficult times ahead, and to build for the future,” said the Secretary-General. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (center, right) meets with Alpha Condé (center, left), President of the Guinea during his official travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (third from left) with Senior Advisers attends a press conference during his official travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe read more

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How Alastair Cook keeps alive the memory of his childhood teammate

Alastair Cook (left) and David Randall during their schooldays “They spent a lot of time together from when they were young, playing and learning from each other. They opened the batting together for Maldon Cricket Club, then Essex. It was great to watch them together“When David became ill Alastair arranged for him to visit Lords and Wimbledon, where he went just two days before he died. It was a lovely thing for Ali to do.”In an attempt to make sense of Randall’s death his mother and a group of family friends set up a foundation in his name to help people with terminal illnesses “enjoy life to the full for as long as possible” and to provide scholarships to people who demonstrate exceptional dedication and passion in sport or music, but lack the finances to pursue it. Cook looks to the heavens in memory of David Randall after achieving the last test century of his careerCredit:Paul Childs/Reuters It was the simplest of gestures, but it meant the world to Sue Randall.When Alastair Cook reached a century at The Oval last week in his last test match before retiring, the England captain removed his helmet, touched his ear and looked up to the heavens.That gesture was in tribute to his childhood team-mate David Randall, with whom Cook had come up through the ranks of junior cricket in Essex, but who died of cancer at the age of 27.The pair had met at Maldon Cricket Club, playing together in the under 10s and under 16s, with Randall breaking into the first team when he was just 13, before being selected for the England Under-15 squad.But in 2012 he fell ill with bowel cancer and died, leaving his family and friends bereft.So when Cooke touched is ear and looked skywards it was a symbolic reminder to those he loved of what Randall meant to them man who went on to become one of England’s greatest cricket players and who ended his career on such a high against India.“It’s lovely that he remembers David and keeps his memory alive in that way,” Randall’s mother Sue, a teacher, told The Sunday Telegraph. ““I was at work when Ali scored his 100, so I didn’t see it, But I am thrilled that he made such a big score in his final innings and I know David would have been too. David Randall (right) and Alastair Cook walk off the field together after clinching victory in an East Anglian Premier League match for Maldon Alastair Cook (left) and David Randall during their schooldaysCredit:Sue Randall Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Cook looks to the heavens in memory of David Randall after achieving the last test century of his career David Randall (right) and Alastair Cook walk off the field together after clinching victory in an East Anglian Premier League match for MaldonCredit:Sue Randall The foundation, which is run entirely by volunteers, helps to provide memorable days for terminally ill people and their families – such as arranging visits to Wimbledon and other great sporting occasions, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Ritz and Harry Potter World.Cook has recently written movingly for the foundation’s website about his friend, known to those who knew him well as Arkle.He said: “Arkle and I grew up opening the batting together at Essex age group cricket and at Maldon CC. I will never be embarrassed to say that David was a far better player than me! We had some great moments together and I will never forget the time when we beat Bury St. Edmunds by 10 wickets on a fantastic day at Drapers Farm [Maldon CC’s ground].”Cook says it is “a huge honour” for him to have been asked to be patron of the David Randall Foundation and that he hopes his work for it would have made his friend proud.He added: “Arkle handled his illness with great bravery and never once did we hear him complain, or say ‘Why me?’ He tried to live as normal a life as possible, refusing to give in to the illness and striving to experience as much as he could in his last few months. I think the fact that he came to Lords and visited Wimbledon in his last few weeks summed up his attitude.” Mrs Randall, who used to spend hours throwing cricket balls at her son at their home in Maldon to help him master his batting, said Cook’s association with the foundation has proved invaluable in raising funds and support. Much of the proceeds from Cook’s 2014 Benefit Year went to the charity.“Ali’s name is a great thing to have. It provides a real boost,” she said. “Because he knew David so well he really cares about it. He’s not just a figurehead. For him it’s personal. You can see that.” read more

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