The ship, which arrived in port near Odessa, will sail for Ethiopia in late July via a grain corridor through the Black Sea brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.
It will be the first humanitarian food aid cargo to Africa since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February under the framework of the Black Sea Grains Initiative.
Denise brownThe UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine told reporters that there was an urgent need for grain in Ethiopia, and the UN would work to ensure continued shipments to countries around Africa that are facing famine and increasingly high food prices.
“On a very personal note, for any mother who is listening, it is very painful to see hunger in a child. Hunger, malnutrition is physically very, very painful,” said Brown, previously posted in the Central African Republic, told reporters. “It’s up to all of us to help these kids.”
The cargo was funded with donations from the United Nations. world food programUS Agency for International Development and several private donors.
“The world needs the food of Ukraine. This is the hope of normal operation for the hungry people of the world.” marian ward, deputy country director of the World Food Program, told reporters. The relief agency bought more than 800,000 tons of grain in Ukraine last year.
Ukrainian officials did not release details on when the brave commander would leave or reach Ethiopia, citing security concerns.
A total of 16 ships now sail from Ukraine, according to officials there, following a deal with Russia to allow the resumption of grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports after a five-month halt due to the war. went.
“We look at it in a very positive way. We are optimistic,” Brown told Reuters in a separate interview.
The agreement was struck last month amid fears that the loss of Ukrainian grain supplies would lead to severe food shortages and even famine outbreaks in some parts of the world.
The first ship to depart Ukraine under the deal, the Sierra Leone-flagged Rajoni, was arriving near the Syrian port of Tartus on Sunday, two shipping sources said.
Brown said officials were using the railroad to increase shipments of grain, and that the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture also plans to open a new truck route to Poland.
Ukraine has about 20 million tonnes of grain left over from last year’s crop, while this year’s wheat crop is also estimated to be 20 million tonnes.
So far, most of the cargo under this deal has carried grain for animal feed or fuel.
As part of the UN agreement, all ships are inspected by the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN personnel work.