UKRAINE: UN-led Grain Initiative helps anchor food supply
A new report from UN trade and development body UNCTAD published on Thursday shows how the UN-led Black Sea Grain Initiative
has provided hope for millions impacted by rising prices and reduced supplies of staple foodstuffs from war-torn Ukraine.
And with the deadline looming, it also underlines why it’s critical to renew the initiative next month, said UNCTAD.
Thanks to the initiative agreed in July by Ukraine, Russia and Türkiye, and led by UN chief António Guterres, port activity in Ukraine is picking up, and large shipments of grain are reaching world markets. The deal also involves increasing the flow of crucial fertilizers from Russia.
As of 19 October, the total tonnage of grain and other foodstuffs exported through the initiative had reached almost 8 million metric tons.
“The UN-led Initiative has helped to stabilize and subsequently lower global food prices and move precious grain from one of the world’s breadbaskets to the tables of those in need,” the report says.
The Food Price Index published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows prices of global food staples have declined in recent months – by about 8.6 per cent in July, nearly two per cent in August and 1.1 per cent in September.
But with the initiative ending in November and its renewal uncertain, the prices of some commodities, such as wheat and maize, are rising again, the report warns.
Without the initiative, there is little hope for providing food security, especially in developing and least developed countries, UNCTAD states.
With the Russian invasion, valuable grain corridors were closed off. Weekly ship departures from Ukrainian ports plummeted. Learn More/…
Image Credit: Umut Çolak – Voice of America
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