NEW YORK, 16th August, 2022 (WAM) -- Linked to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the first maritime shipment of Ukrainian wheat for humanitarian operations run by the UN World Food Programme left Ukraine today for the Horn of Africa.
''It is another important milestone in efforts to get much needed Ukrainian grain out of the conflict-hit country, back into global markets, and to countries worst affected by the global food crisis.
The shipment of 23,000 metric tons of wheat will go to WFP's humanitarian response in the Horn of Africa where the threat of famine stalks the drought-hit region. It is one of many areas around the world where the near complete halt of Ukrainian grain and food on global market has made life even harder for families already struggling with rising hunger,'' said Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for UN Secretary-General.
According to the World Food Programme, a record 345 million people in 82 countries are now facing acute food insecurity while up to 50 million people in 45 countries are right on the edge of famine and risk being tipped over without humanitarian support. The World Food Programme notes that with commercial and humanitarian maritime traffic now resuming in and out of Ukraine's Black Sea ports, some global supply disruptions will ease with relief for countries facing the worst of the global food crisis. Crucially, WFP says it will allow Ukraine to empty its grain storage silos ahead of the summer season harvest.
WFP said that despite these positive developments, the world still faces an unprecedented food crisis. They stress that immediate action is needed that brings together the humanitarian community, governments, and the private sector to save lives and invest in long term solutions.