The first ship carrying grain from Ukraine for people in the globe’s hungriest parts of the world has docked at the port of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. This comes at a time when many parts of East Africa are being severely impacted by a terrible drought and violence.
Food security experts have referred to it as a drop in the bucket in comparison to the massive requirements in the hardest-hit Horn countries of Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, which is the country where this initial shipment is going. On the other hand, the shipment of grain from Ukraine to other regions of the world where people are without food is set to continue, and another ship is scheduled to leave for Yemen on Tuesday. According to a statement made by the United Nations World Food Program, preparations are being made for additional ships.
According to the WFP, this initial shipment of grain will be transported by land to northern Ethiopia. This region of Ethiopia is home to millions of people who have been displaced as a result of the Tigray conflict in the country, which has recently erupted once more. As a result of renewed fighting between Tigray troops and Ethiopian ones over the past week, humanitarian deliveries by road and air have been delayed. It is currently unknown how any of the grain will make it to Tigray. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that Ethiopia’s neighboring Amhara and Afar areas will also benefit from this prosperity.
According to the World Food Programme (WFP), the 23,000 metric tons of grain that are included on the first ship are sufficient to provide a month’s worth of complete rations for 1.5 million people. However, the United Nations estimates that there are 20 million people in Ethiopia who are at risk of going hungry, of which 2.4 million live in Tigray alone and are severely food insecure. As a result of the drought, millions of additional people in the Horn of Africa region are suffering from hunger, and hundreds of people have already lost their lives. Since at least 90% of Somalia’s grain supply came from Ukraine and Russia before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the country has been hit especially hard.
According to the World Food Programme (WFP), the Horn of Africa needs the equivalent of millions of tons of food. “In Ethiopia alone, three-quarters of everything that we used to provide originated from Ukraine and Russia,” said regional director Michael Dunford. “This includes everything from food to medicine to clothing.” It is expected that it will take several weeks for people in African countries to see grain from Ukraine arrive, and it will take even longer for people to see it bring down high food costs, which have been a source of despondency and protests in various nations.
As commercial obligations made in the past are met, there is a big jump in the number of grain-carrying ships leaving Ukraine’s reopened ports for wealthier places like Europe. The World Food Programme (WFP) says that as of Sunday, 114 ships carrying more than 1.2 million metric tons of food had left Ukraine. However, “export quantities remain well below averages from before the conflict,” the WFP says.