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,"
"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
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.