The U.N.’s Black Sea Grain Initiative has delivered nearly 28 million metric tons of Ukrainian foodstuffs to help many of the world’s most needy. The deal also has helped to lower global food prices.
“This critical work is done against the backdrop of the ongoing war and active hostilities,” Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the U.N. secretary-general, said April 11.
Türkiye and the United Nations brokered the deal last July with Ukraine and Russia.
Over 65% of Ukrainian wheat exported through the initiative reached developing countries, the European Council said in March. Exported maize went equally to developed and developing countries.
Reaching countries affected by war, drought
The initiative also supplies grain to the U.N.’s World Food Programme. Ongoing humanitarian operations in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and Yemen all have received Ukrainian grain.
In April, Ukrainian grain reached Somalia, a country dealing with extreme levels of food insecurity arising from the worst drought on record.
And 30,000 metric tons of Ukrainian wheat arrived in Yemen April 17.
“In terms of shipping, it has worked,” Guy Platten, the secretary-general of the International Chamber of Shipping, told The Guardian British media in March. “It has been a huge success.”
The initiative has contributed to a drop in food prices, Dujarric said. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Food Price Index showed a further drop of 2.1%. The index has fallen as much as 20.5% in the last year.
The U.N.’s Black Sea Grain Initiative website regularly updates vessel movements from Ukraine. The 28 million metric tons figure is as of April 19.