The first shipment of grain from Ukraine to Africa since the war began has docked in Djibouti.
23,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat are being transported by the MV Brave Commander to the neighbouring country of Ethiopia, which is in urgent need of food assistance.
The journey from southern Ukraine took two weeks.
This wheat is intended to feed 1.5 million Ethiopians for a month, but it is insufficient for a nation that is dealing with several humanitarian issues.
Last month, Ukraine and Russia agreed with Turkey and the UN to build a corridor that would permit the shipment of food.
Ethiopia and other nations in the area are dealing with a protracted drought. Around 20 million people now require food aid due to this as well as the ongoing civil fighting in the northern Tigray province.
Despite having a population of only 900,000, Djibouti is one of the busiest ports in Africa.
Currently, employees are boarding the ship flying the flag of Lebanon to unload its priceless cargo.
For the task, two enormous cranes have been positioned.
The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that it will take over a week to transport the wheat to Ethiopia by road after it has been bagged.
The organization paid for this shipment because it was beginning to run low on funds to support refugees and those affected by conflict and drought.
Three-quarters of the WFP's food aid came from Ukraine and Russia before the Ukraine War.
Michael Dunford, the WFP's East Africa director, told the BBC that "we need to see more shipments coming from Ukraine, Russia, and others in support of what is a very terrible situation today in the Horn of Africa and across the area."
However, a return of warfare between Amhara militia groups associated with the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan troops could impede assistance distribution.
Since April, the WFP has been able to deliver food, medicine, and gasoline into Tigray, a landlocked nation that is being blocked by the government.
However, Mr. Dunford claimed that the company had to stop making deliveries in the area.
Our efforts in Tigray are now on hold while we evaluate the security and accessibility of the populace. Over 13 million people in the three affected districts [in the north] require humanitarian assistance, which makes it disastrous.
Forecasts from the World Meteorological Organization indicate that the Horn of Africa will likely continue to see drier-than-average conditions, making it almost inevitable that the worst drought in more than 40 years, which started at the end of 2020, will continue.
Famine may soon be proclaimed in several regions of Somalia, which borders Djibouti.
The turmoil in Ukraine has made things more difficult for many families throughout the continent.
The African Development Bank estimates that the continent's food inflation is currently over 40%.
Even though Ethiopia has received some respite from this most recent cargo, the wheat won't reach stores and marketplaces. However, the UN hopes that demonstrating that stocks can be transported from the Black Sea to the continent securely, will increase confidence in the private sector. neighboring
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