The launch of the Grain from Ukraine program was announced by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the International Summit on Food Security in Kyiv on Nov. 26.
As part of the project, food will be supplied from Ukraine to developing countries in Africa and Asia.
The summit was attended online and offline by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Prime Ministers of Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Belgium, as well as President of Hungary Katalin Novák, who came to Ukraine for the first time since the beginning of the full-scale war.
"As part of the initiative, it is planned to send at least 60 vessels from the ports of Ukraine by the beginning of spring next year, and at least 10 per month. To countries that are under the threat of famine and drought – all of them are in dire need of help," Zelenskyy said.
Within the framework of the Black Sea grain initiative, almost 500 ships left Ukrainian ports – this is 12 million tons of agricultural products for 40 countries, he said. According to the president, Russia is trying to “delay the passage of ships” – the line to transit the Bosporus Strait comprises more than 80 ships. He said Ukraine wants an increase in the number of ports and the indefinite continuation of this initiative.
Zelenskyy proposed to create a new international institute to respond to all global threats – humanitarian and security – with headquarters in Kyiv or Odesa, "from where a ship will soon leave under the program."
According to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Japan (about $14 million), Germany (EUR 15 million), France (EUR 6 million), Belgium (EUR 10 million), and Canada (about CAD 22.4 million) have already announced the allocation of funds to fight the global food crisis within the initiative, as well as to ensure grain supplies.
The Grain from Ukraine initiative was first announced by President Zelenskyy during his speech at the G20 summit on Nov. 15 when the first vessel, the Nord Vind, with 27,000 tons of wheat on board, left for Ethiopia.