Somalia, South Sudan and Kenya to benefit from Ukraine grain
KYIV, Ukraine - The Ukrainian government in partnership with European Union have agreed to send grain to Kenya, South Sudan and Somalia to help alleviate the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa region.
Under the humanitarian slogan ‘Grain from Ukraine Humanitarian Programme’, which is aimed at enabling hunger-stricken countries in Africa and Asia to receive food donations from the war-torn eastern European nation.
This new emergency assistance was announced by Ukraine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba on Monday, he pointed out that the programme seeks to lift at least five million Africans out of the growing food insecurity crisis, which has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of his country.
“This will be possible through the dispatch of one to 10 ships per month in 2023. We invite partners from all over the world to join the programme and allocate finances for purchasing ships with Ukrainian grain that are then shipped to the most vulnerable countries free of charge,” Mr Kuleba said.
Currently, there are over 29 countries and the European Union contributing to the programme, with Ukraine also drawing finances from its “war-torn budget” to purchase the grains for donation to Africa.
In a recent International Summit on Food Security, almost $150 million were raised for the programme.
Already a number of ships with Ukrainian grain are already en route to Africa and the food will be given free of charge.
Other African countries expected to benefit from the donations include Ethiopia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.
UN data shows that 32 per cent of all African wheat imports come from Russia and 12 per cent from Ukraine, the eastern European conflict has heavily impacted the African population.
The brokerage of the black sea grain deal between Russia, Ukraine and the government of Turkey, however, provided a lifeline for many African countries in which food prices were already spiralling as a result of the war, but Russia has since walked back on the deal.
In a recent report assessing the impact of the Ukraine war on the African population, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa projected that by the end of 2022, it will have pushed nearly 310 million Africans into food insecurity and increase those facing acute hunger by six million.
Currently, there are about 4.5 million people in Kenya facing acute food insecurity and in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, according to the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad). In the entire region, about 40 million people need food aid.