The first grain cargo as part of Ukraine’s initiative to help those in need landed in Djibouti on Monday for delivery to Ethiopia, which is nearby and experiencing the worst drought in decades.
The embassy of Ukraine in Ethiopia has confirmed that the 25,000 tons of “Grain from Ukraine” shipment is independent of a United Nations World Food Program initiative that has supported grain exports from Ukraine for humanitarian purposes.
According to a statement from the embassy, a third ship is currently being loaded with 25,000 tons of wheat with a destination of Somalia, while a second ship carrying 30,000 tons of wheat will depart for Ethiopia the next week.
Last month, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, established a program to aid “countries the most affected by the food crisis.” More than 60 ships will be sent by Ukraine, according to reports, to Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, the Congo, Kenya, and Yemen, among other nations.
Following the sixth consecutive unsuccessful rainy season, millions of people in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya are going without food due to a drought, and wars in Ethiopia and Somalia have made the situation worse.
Regarding the fresh grain shipment from Ukraine, Ethiopia has not yet made any remarks. The U.N.’s attempt to ship grain from Ukraine to Ethiopia, however, was criticized by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in August as an effort to “paint a picture that we are starving.”