Ukrainian grain alleviates the global hunger crisis
Sweden supports the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea Grain Initiative and Grain from Ukraine. These initiatives aim to alleviate the global hunger crisis and the risk of famine that have been exacerbated by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and to support the Ukrainian economy and agricultural sector.
Besides the widespread human suffering and material destruction in Ukraine, Russia’s aggression has had major humanitarian consequences for vulnerable people around the world. Prior to the invasion, Ukraine was one of the world’s major grain exporters. However, as a result of the Russian blockade on Ukrainian grain exports, the global availability of grain has decreased, and prices have increased.
“Russia’s actions have exacerbated an already acute global hunger crisis, with the risk of famine. The Government supports several initiatives to combat acute hunger among the world’s most vulnerable and at the same time support the Ukrainian agricultural sector through grain deliveries from Ukrainian ports,” says Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell.
Black Sea grain exports
In September, Sweden decided to support Ukrainian food exports by contributing SEK 400 million for the purchase and transport of 50 000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat for humanitarian purposes. The purchase and transport are being done under the UN World Food Programme (WFP). The wheat will be distributed to the people in need in Yemen, where there is an acute risk of famine. This has been possible thanks to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, an agreement brokered by the UN and Turkey in July 2022. As a result of this agreement, ships carrying Ukrainian grain, agricultural products and fertiliser can safely leave Ukraine and sail through the Black Sea to reach global markets. A total of 15 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain and food products have been exported under the Black Sea Grain Initiative. This has helped support the Ukrainian agricultural sector, combat global hunger and stabilise global food prices.
The Government welcomed the agreement reached on 17 November by the parties concerned to extend the deal for four months.
Ukraine donates wheat to the most needy
The Grain from Ukraine initiative, launched by the Ukrainian Government, aims to help those most affected by the impact of Russia’s invasion on the global food supply. Ukraine has donated at least 125 000 tonnes of grain to vulnerable people in Africa and Asia.
“The leadership Ukraine has shown by helping to solve the global food crisis, at the same time as Ukrainians are defending their country against Russia’s devastating war, is admirable,” says Mr Forssell.
Sweden is contributing to the Ukrainian initiative by donating SEK 100 million to the WFP, which is tasked with transporting the grain to the people who need it most. In conjunction with the launch of Grain from Ukraine, three ships carrying Ukrainian wheat set off for Sudan and Yemen.