Ukraine's 1st wheat shipment bound for Africa to support drought aid: UN

Shipment is 1st aimed at delivering food assistance under Black Sea grain initiative, says UN spokesman.

Ukraine's 1st wheat shipment bound for Africa to support drought aid: UN

The first wheat shipment out of Ukraine since the war with Russia broke out is bound for Africa to support the region as it grapples with severe drought, the UN said on Friday.

Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters that the cargo vessel Brave Commander, cleared under a deal brokered by Türkiye and the UN, departed from Istanbul on Wednesday after an inspection.

The ship is setting sail for the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti with the wheat set to go to the World Food Program's operations in Ethiopia to support its drought response efforts as the threat of famine stalks the region.

"This is the first shipment of humanitarian food assistance under the Black Sea Grain Initiative," Dujarric said.

Ukraine has exported more than 370,000 tons of grain, mostly corn and other foodstuffs, in the first week following the announcement of the grain deal to address global food insecurity, according to the UN.

Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed the landmark deal on July 22 to reopen three Ukrainian ports -- Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Yuzhny -- for grain that had been stuck for months because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war that started on Feb. 24.

Hüseyin Demir

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