10m tonnes shipped from Ukraine under grain deal

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Ten million tonnes of grains and foodstuffs have left Ukraine in the past three months, the UN chief said on Thursday, calling for the renewal of a deal vital to “reducing the risk of hunger” worldwide.

The landmark announcement comes just days after the Black Sea grain deal, which was put in place over the summer to ease the global food crisis caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine, was called into question by Moscow’s complaints over sanctions.

“The Black Sea Grain Initiative is making a difference,” United Nation chief Antonio Guterres told journalists.

“As of today, ten million metric tonnes of grain and other foodstuffs have been shipped through the Black Sea corridor. It has taken just three months to reach this milestone.”

He noted that Russia’s brief withdrawal from the deal earlier this week, which led to a further increase in global food prices, had shown the “importance” of the accord in stemming the global food crisis and “reducing the risks of hunger, poverty, and instability”.

“The initiative is working. It is our collective re-sponsibility to keep it working smoothly,” said Guterres. He called for concentrated efforts toward the “renewal and full implementation of the Black Sea grain initiative”. The 120-day grain deal was signed between Moscow, Kyiv, the UN, and Turkiye on July 22 in an effort to combat the global food crisis sparked by the war, which had stalled all agricultural exports from one of the world’s breadbaskets.

Even before Russia’s move to pull out of the deal on Saturday, from which it backtracked on Wednesday, uncertainty over the extension of the initiative had led to price increases of certain prod-ucts.—AFP

 

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