First UN ship to dock in Ukraine on Friday to collect grain

A first UN ship is due to dock in Ukraine on Friday to pick up cereals


A first ship chartered by the United Nations to carry Ukrainian grain to support its humanitarian aid operations around the world is due to dock in Ukraine on Friday, the World Food Program (WFP) said. 

The MV Brave Commander, which left Istanbul on Wednesday, is due to arrive in Youzhne, east of Odessa, on the shores of the Black Sea, to pick up the grain purchased there by WFP.

“This is the first delivery of humanitarian food aid under the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” WFP spokesman Tomson Phiri told a regular press briefing in Geneva. .

On July 22, Ukraine and Russia signed in Istanbul, through the mediation of Turkey and under the aegis of the UN, agreements for four months on the export of cereals Ukrainian forces in the Black Sea, blocked due to the armed conflict between the two countries.

In accordance with these agreements, a Joint Coordination Center (JCC), responsible for the control of Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea, has been set up in Istanbul.

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A first UN ship is due to dock in Ukraine on Friday to collect food ;ales

On August 10, a first commercial shipment of Ukrainian grain landed at the port of Mersin, Turkey. But no UN humanitarian cargo has so far left Ukraine.

The WFP has so far purchased 30,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat, and the MV Brave Commander has a capacity of 23,000 tonnes.

“The rest will soon be loaded and shipped to another ship,” Mr. Phiri explained.

WFP hopes that there will be regular humanitarian shipments thereafter.

The organization did not indicate when the MV Brave Commander will leave Ukraine or its destination.

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“The loading and moving of ships (…) in the context of the current conflict is a complex operation,” Mr. Phiri stressed.

“The delivery of Ukrainian grain to WFP humanitarian operations in places like Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen will benefit both the Ukrainian economy and the populations threatened by famine in the regions of the world hardest hit by the global food crisis,” he further noted.

Ukraine and Russia are among the world's largest grain exporters, and the war has led to a soaring cereal prices.

According to the WFP, a record 345 million people in 82 countries are now facing acute food insecurity, while up to 50 million people in 45 countries risk sinking into famine without humanitarian aid.