Ukraine announced that the first Ukrainian grain ship left the port of Pivdenny (southern Ukraine) on Tuesday, with some 23,000 tonnes of wheat for Africa.
“The Brave Commander ship with grain for Africa has left the port of Pivdenny. This morning, the cargo ship left for the port of Djibouti, where the food will be delivered on arrival to consumers in Ethiopia”said the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure on social networks, specifying that “ 23,000 tonnes of wheat are on board this ship chartered by the United Nations World Food Programme”.
The United States Agency for Development Assistance (USAID), for its part, said in a statement on Tuesday that it had provided $68 million to the UN World Food Program (WFP) for the purchase, transport and storage of 150,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat.
Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement on July 22 with Turkey and the United Nations to resume grain and fertilizer exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi .
The first commercial ship left on August 1, and more than 15 ships in total have left Ukraine since the agreement entered into force, according to the count of the Ukrainian authorities, but no humanitarian cargo from the UN had yet set sail.
Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s largest grain exporters, and the war has led to a spike in grain prices.
According to the WFP, a record 345 million people in 82 countries now face acute food insecurity, while up to 50 million people in 45 countries are at risk of starvation without humanitarian assistance.