He General secretary of the UN expressed its disappointment on Tuesday at the slowness of the inspections to which the merchant ships that are part of the Black Sea Grain Initiative are subjected, and at the exclusion of the port of Yuzhny/Pivdennyi, near the port city of Odesa, which is part of the agreement.
This situation causes a decrease in the traffic of ships entering and leaving Ukrainian seaports and a decrease in the supply of essential food to world markets, according to a statement issued by the Office of the Spokesperson of António Guterres.
Food exports through this humanitarian maritime corridor decreased considerably, going from a maximum of 4.2 million tons in October 2022 to 1.3 million tons in May, the lowest level since the Initiative was launched last year.
Guterres asked the parties involved to speed up the number of operations and urged “to do everything possible” to ensure the continuity of the agreement, whose renewal is scheduled for July 17.
The head of the UN transferred the commitment of the United Nations in support of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, as well as the Memorandum of Understanding on Russian exports of food and fertilizers, so that these products reach markets around the world. in a safe way.
“This is especially important now that the new grain harvest begins both in Ukraine and in the Russian Federation”, Guterres’ statement ended.
More than 30 million tons of freighted cereals
Since its inception in July last year, the UN-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative aimed at guaranteeing supplies of grain, food and fertilizer amid global shortages exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, has achieved the safe export of more than 30 million tons of cereals.
According to figures published on May 12, the Initiative sent close to 600,000 tons of grain in ships chartered by the World Food Program (WFP). These dispatches were used to support humanitarian work in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Yemen.
Ukraine supplied the WFP with more than half of its total global wheat purchases last year, a figure similar to that of 2021.