US to buy 150 thsd tonnes of Ukrainian grain for hungry regions




The United States is stepping up to buy about 150 thsd tonnes of grain from Ukraine in the next few weeks for an upcoming shipment of food aid from ports no longer blockaded by war, the World Food Program chief David Beasley has told The Associated Press.

The final destinations for the grain are not confirmed and discussions continue, David Beasley said. But the planned shipment, one of several the U.N. agency that fights hunger is pursuing, is more than six times the amount of grain that the first WFP-arranged ship from Ukraine is now carrying toward people in the Horn of Africa at risk of starvation.

The World Food Program says 22 mln people are hungry. He called the situation facing the Horn of Africa a “perfect storm on top of a perfect storm, a tsunami on top of a tsunami” as the drought-prone region struggles to cope amid high food and fuel prices driven partly by the war in Ukraine.

The keenly awaited first aid ship from Ukraine is carrying 23 thsd tonnes of grain, enough to feed 1.5 mln people on full rations for a month, Beasley said. It is expected to dock in Djibouti on August 26 or 27, and the wheat is supposed to be shipped overland to northern Ethiopia.