12 Aug 2022, 19:13

First UN ship for Ukrainian grain to dock Friday: WFP

GENEVA, Aug 12, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - The first UN-chartered vessel set to 
transport grain from Ukraine under a deal to relieve a global food crisis 
should dock in Ukraine on Friday, the United Nations said.

The MV Brave Commander, which left Istanbul on Wednesday, is due to arrive in 
Yuzhne, east of Odessa on the Black Sea coast, the UN's World Food Programme 

It will collect Ukrainian wheat grain purchased by the WFP, the agency's 
spokesman Tomson Phiri said.

"This is obviously the first shipment of humanitarian food assistance under 
the Black Sea Grain Initiative," he said.

On July 22, Kyiv and Moscow signed a landmark deal with Turkey to unblock 
Black Sea grain deliveries, following Russia's February invasion of Ukraine.

Turkey has opened a special facility in Istanbul at the mouth of the Black 
Sea to oversee the exports. It is staffed by civilian and military officials 
from the warring sides and delegates from Turkey and the UN.

WFP has purchased an initial 30,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat. MV Brave 
Commander has a capacity of 23,000 tonnes.

"The remaining balance will be loaded and shipped on another vessel soon," 
Phiri said.

"WFP is hopeful that the MV Brave Commander is the first of what will now 
become regular shipments out of Ukraine as the Black Sea Grain Initiative 
gains momentum."

It is not yet clear when the ship will depart and WFP did not release details 
of where it would be heading.

"Loading and moving ships in and out of ports in the context of the current 
conflict is a complex operation," said Phiri.

"Getting Ukrainian grain to WFP's humanitarian operations in places like 
Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen will ensure a double benefit to both Ukraine's 
economy and famine risk populations in areas of the world hardest hit by the 
global food crisis."

The blockage of deliveries from Ukraine and Russia -- two of the world's 
biggest grain exporters -- has led to a spike in prices and made food imports 
prohibitively expensive for some of the world's poorest countries.

A record 345 million people in 82 countries face acute food insecurity and up 
to 50 million people in 45 countries are on the edge of famine and risk being 
tipped over without humanitarian support, Phiri said.

The first shipment of Ukrainian grain under the deal that lifted a Russian 
blockade of Ukraine's ports and established safe corridors through the naval 
mines laid by Kyiv left Odessa on August 1.



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