EU hails Istanbul deal for enabling UN humanitarian grain shipment

UN-chartered grain shipment to carry 23,000 tons of grain to drought-stricken Ethiopia.

EU hails Istanbul deal for enabling UN humanitarian grain shipment

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Friday commended a recent deal signed in Istanbul enabling Ukraine to ship grain for the UN's World Food Program (WFP).

"Thanks to the Istanbul agreement, Ukraine is again able to deliver grain to the WFP," Borrell said on Twitter.

He hailed the UN shipment of 23,000 tons of Ukrainian products to the Horn of Africa, which was the first humanitarian cargo that set sail since the accord was signed on July 22 between Türkiye, the UN, Ukraine, and Russia.

Borrell noted that Russia has used "food as a weapon" to worsen hunger around the world, calling on Moscow to "respect its commitment so that Ukraine's exports can continue to reach those in need, mostly in Africa."

The UN-chartered carrier Brave Commander left Istanbul on Wednesday and arrived on Friday at the port of Yuzhny in southern Ukraine.

The ship will carry 23,000 tons of grain through the port of Djibouti to be distributed in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia have been experiencing one of their worst droughts in decades.

The four-year natural disaster has left over 18 million people facing hunger.

According to the UN, Ukraine exported 45 million tons of grain before the war with Russia erupted in February.

On July 22, Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed a deal in Istanbul to reopen three Ukrainian ports -- Odesa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny -- for grain exports.

The historic deal, brokered by Türkiye and the UN, has unblocked exports of grain stuck in Ukrainian ports since the beginning of the war.

Internationally praised for its mediator role, Türkiye has coordinated with Moscow and Kyiv to open a corridor from the Ukrainian port city of Odesa to resume global grain shipments.

Hüseyin Demir

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