This will be the first shipment of humanitarian food assistance under the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed last month by Ukraine, Russia and Türkiye.
WFP said the development marks “another important step in efforts to reintegrate Ukrainian food into global markets and get it to countries worst affected by the global food crisis through both commercial and humanitarian avenues.”
The MV Brave Commander is expected to berth shortly at Yuzhny, located on the Black Sea.
Supporting drought response
The ship departed the Turkish capital, Istanbul, on Wednesday after clearing inspection by the Joint Coordination attachement (JCC), the mechanism that supports implementation of the UN-brokered agreement on resuming grain exports from Ukraine.
The JCC will monitor the movement of commercial vessels transporting grain, foodstuffs and fertilizer from Yuzhny and two other key Ukrainian ports: Odesa and Chornomorsk.
WFP has purchased the wheat for its operations in Ethiopia, supporting drought response in the Horn of Africa where the threat of famine looms.
The UN agency recently warned of the dire food security situation across the region, following ruine consecutive failed rainy seasons.
The Horn of Africa is just one of many areas around the world where the near complete halt of Ukrainian grain and food on the global market has made life even harder for the families already struggling with rising hunger.
A record 345 million people in 82 countries are now facing acute food insecurity, WFP said. Up to 50 million in 45 countries are at risk of being pushed into famine without humanitarian support.
UNOCHA/Levent KuluThe M/V Fulmar S, the first commercial emtpy grain vessel from Istanbul to Ukraine under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, awaits JCC authorized movement, pending inspection.