Grain from Ukraine initiative

20-11-2023 12:38 PM
The Embassy of Ukraine in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Before the full-scale military invasion of the Russian Federation onto the sovereign territory of Ukraine in 2022, Ukraine annually produced food for 400 mln. people. It accounted for 47% of the world market for sunflower, 17% for barley, 14% for corn, and 10% for wheat. In countries like Lebanon, India, Iraq, and China, some agricultural products from Ukraine accounted for over 50% of imports. No country is capable of replacing Ukraine with its food in the coming 4-5 years.

The Russian war against Ukraine brings death not only to Ukrainians. By destroying Ukraine's port infrastructure and grain terminals with precise missile attacks Russia has taken at least 70 mln. people worldwide to the verge of starvation. This is direct evidence of crimes against humanity: while there are countries which suffer from droughts, food shortages, and high prices, Russia is demonstratively destroying food that could feed millions of people.

The need for agricultural products in the world is growing every year by 2-3%, and the grain shortage in the markets of Africa and Asia may reach 10-15% already in 2024.

In search for a way out of the global food crisis caused by Russia and fulfilling its commitments as the world food guarantor even despite the dire situation in Ukraine the President Volodymyr Zelenskyy came up with a humanitarian initiative “Grain from Ukraine” during the International Food Security Summit held in Kyiv on the 26th of November, 2022. As a result of the summit, the “Grain from Ukraine” programme accumulated approximately 220 mln. USD of funding.

Within the framework of the program which is implemented in partnership with the World Food Programme Ukraine sent 170 thousand tons of wheat to countries with the most complicated food situation - Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen and Kenya. The program is going to be expanded and will include Nigeria, Sudan, Mozambique/Malawi, Madagascar, Djibouti, Mauritania, Lebanon, and other countries.

The mechanism of the “Grain from Ukraine” program provides for direct purchase of agricultural products by the participating countries from Ukrainian companies and their transfer to the countries which are on the brink of famine. Ukraine’s partners who joined the programme allocate finances for purchasing vessels with Ukrainian grain which will be shipped to the most vulnerable people and countries free of charge. Ukraine is also allocating funding for this purpose from its war-torn budget.

Any country, NGO, or private company can join the “Grain from Ukraine” programme. Over 30 countries and international organisations have joined it.

As a part of the programme Ukraine has also established the International Hunger Prevention Coordination Group, which includes representatives of governments, corporations and philanthropists who can directly impact the food needs of millions of people worldwide. The Coordination Group will develop a joint global action roadmap to prevent the global food crisis from worsening.

The World Food Programme together with Ukraine and donor countries will determine the recipients of Ukrainian grain from among the countries experiencing acute food shortages.

Feeding the world has deep meaning to the Ukrainian nation which survived genocide by starvation called Holodomor perpetrated by Stalin 90 years ago, and annually, Ukrainians mark its anniversary commemorating 4.5 million of its victims. Today, when due to Russia's war against Ukraine, people in other parts of the world are experiencing food shortages and rising food prices Ukraine will not allow Russia to repeat this crime either to itself or to other countries, so grain supplies must and will continue.

Food security is also one of the ten elements of Ukraine’s Peace Formula presented by President Zelenskyy at the G20 summit.

As a next step Ukraine is going to hold the second “International Summit on Food Security 2023” aimed at strengthening the role of Ukraine as a reliable participant in the global food supply and as a partner of the World Food Programme; intensifying the involvement of international partners in the initiative “Grain from Ukraine”, expanding the list of recipient countries; coordination of the international community as an Alliance for Food Security, which will create the necessary leverage to end the food blockade by Russia.

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