Grain ship carrying wheat for Ethiopia departs from Ukraine

A cargo ship loaded with more than 23,000 metric tons of wheat destined for Ethiopia has departed from Ukraine, Kyiv’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Tuesday.

“BRAVE COMMANDER left the Pivdennyi (Yuzhnyi) Sea Port. I’m thankful to the United Nations and World Food Programme for your support and all the hard work you have done,” Kubrakov tweeted.

The vessel is headed for Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, with the wheat ultimately destined for neighboring Ethiopia under the UN World Food Programme’s response to a drought in the East African country. It is expected to reach its destination in two weeks.

The UN has said the “ripple effect” of the war in Ukraine threatens to worsen a food crisis in Ethiopia sparked by conflict and water shortages.

Some context: Since a deal was struck in Istanbul last month to unlock Ukrainian exports of grain via the country’s Black Sea ports, 17 ships carrying more than 475,000 tons of agricultural exports have departed, according to the Ukrainian Infrastructure Ministry.

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