A ship laden with 25,000 tons of grain has arrived in Somalia, the third such vessel to deliver vital shipments of food in accordance with Volodymyr Zelensky’s pioneering Grain from Ukraine programme.
The delivery was made possible with support from the UN World Food Program (WFP), and financial assistance from the governments of Japan, France, and Finland.
Somalia is in the midst of its fifth consecutive failed rainy season, according to the International Rescue Committee.
By mid-2023, more than eight million people – almost half of the population – will be living through crisis levels of food insecurity as the country faces an impending famine.
Ukrainian President Adviser Daria Zarivna said “the idea was based on very simple logic. For now, Ukraine contributes more than 10 percent of the world’s corn exports, 15 percent of wheat and as far as I remember, around 50 percent of the world’s sunflower oil.
“Secondly, we have various different complicated issues and problems with the agricultural sector and Ukrainian farmers are in a very complicated situation but at the same time, we understand that the necessity to have Ukrainian agricultural production won’t decrease.
“So this is why it’s critically important to do something with it and at the same time, we understand that our international partners are interested in helping Ukraine.”
At the same, more than 10 months after Russia’s invasion of his country, Mr Zelensky was also trying to forge new diplomatic relationships with African countries, Ms Zarivna said, admitting these had not functioned as well as they should have done in the past.
In accordance with the scheme, Western countries pay for shipments of grain which are loaded onto Ukrainian ships, and cover the costs of transporting it to the African country of their choice, Ms Zarivna explained.
She added: “So, thanks to this strategy, with one ship, you can at the same time help the economy of two countries – Ukraine, which is suffering from a war, and the African countries which are suffering from hunger