The UN-chartered vessel Brave Commander is expected to berth shortly at Ukraine’s Yuzhny (Pivdennyi) port to collect Ukrainian wheat purchased by the World Food Programme (WFP).
UN Spokesman, Mr Stéphane Dujarric, disclosed this on Friday in New York at a news conference while giving an update on the Black Sea Initiative.
According to him, this is the first shipment of humanitarian food assistance under the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed in July by Ukraine, Russia and Türkiye.
“The vessel departed Istanbul on August 10 after clearing the inspection regime by the Joint Coordination Centre.
“The Brave Commander will discharge its wheat in Djibouti, after clearing the JCC protocols in Istanbul on the outbound trip.
“The wheat will go to the World Food Programme’s operations in Ethiopia, supporting the Horn of Africa drought response as the threat of famine stalks the drought-hit region.’’
Meanwhile, WFP said the development marks “another important step in efforts to reintegrate Ukrainian food into global markets.
”The consignment will get it to countries worst affected by the global food crisis through both commercial and humanitarian avenues.”
The MV Brave Commander is expected to berth shortly at Yuzhny, located on the Black Sea.
The ship departed the Turkish capital, Istanbul, on Wednesday after clearing inspection by the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), the mechanism that supports implementation of the UN-brokered agreement on resuming grain exports from Ukraine.
The JCC will monitor the movement of commercial vessels transporting grain, foodstuffs and fertilizer from Yuzhny and two other key Ukrainian ports: Odesa and Chornomorsk.
WFP had purchased the wheat for its operations in Ethiopia, supporting drought response in the Horn of Africa where the threat of famine looms.
The UN agency recently warned of the dire food security situation across the region, following four consecutive failed rainy seasons.
The Horn of Africa is just one of many areas around the world where the near complete halt of Ukrainian grain and food on the global market has made life even harder for the families already struggling with rising hunger.
A record 345 million people in 82 countries are now facing acute food insecurity, WFP said.
Up to 50 million in 45 countries are at risk of being pushed into famine without humanitarian support.
The Brave Commander will discharge the wheat in Djibouti after clearing the JCC protocols in Istanbul on the outbound trip.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative was signed on July 22 and so far, 12 vessels have been authorised to depart the Ukrainian ports, the senior UN official, Frederick Kenney at the JCC told journalists this week.
Kenney, UN Interim Coordinator, said while there is still much work ahead, “we are off with a very good start”.
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