UN ship carrying 23000 metric tonnes of wheat leaves Ukraine for Africa


The United Nations chartered ship loaded with over 23,000 metric tonnes of wheat from the Ukrainian port has set sail to Africa.

The vessel which took off from a Black Sea port marks the first departure of a World Food Programme (WFP) humanitarian food aid cargo bound for Africa since the start of the Russia- Ukraine war.

The Lebanese-flagged Brave Commander on Sunday left the port of Pivdennyi, in the city of Yuzhne, according to regional Governor Maksym Marchenko.

It plans to sail to Djibouti, where the grain will be unloaded and transferred to Ethiopia, one of five countries the UN considers at risk of starvation.

“Today was very positive. We are very, very hopeful that all the actors around this agreement will come together on what is really an issue for humanity,” WFP Ukraine coordinator Denise Brown told The Associated Press.

Brown said the authorities were looking at using rail to augment the shipments of grain, and the Ukrainian agriculture ministry was also planning on opening a new truck route to Poland.

He also said the UN would work to ensure continued shipments to countries around Africa, especially to those facing famine and sharply higher food prices.

“On a very, very personal note, for any mothers who might be listening, seeing the hunger in a child is very painful,” the UN official said.

“Hunger, malnutrition is physically very, very painful.

“It’s up to all of us to help these children.”

Brown also said the authorities were looking at using rail to augment the shipments as the Ukrainian authority plans to open a new truck route to Poland.

“We look at this … in a very positive way. We’re optimistic,” Brown added.

Recall that on August 1, the first shipment of Ukrainian grain left the port of Odessa (a seaport in southern Ukraine).

In total, 16 vessels have departed from Ukraine since the July deal, according to Kyiv.

Part of the deal with Russia is to allow Ukraine to export 22 million tons of grain and other agricultural products stuck in Black Sea ports due to the war.


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