Ukraine: three more cargo ships loaded with grain leave port
Three more cargo ships loaded with Ukrainian grain left the country’s ports on Friday, as part of the UN-led bid to relieve global food insecurity.
The green light for the shipment of more than 58,000 tonnes of corn was issued by the Joint Coordination Centre of the Black Sea Grain Initiative – a deal agreed between the UN, Ukraine, Russia and Türkiye.
It follows the first commercial shipment of more than 26,000 tonnes of corn from the Ukrainian port of Odesa earlier this week, aboard the Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni.
The ship arrived in Istanbul’s waters on Tuesday evening, after sailing from Ukraine’s main Black Sea port of Odesa on Monday, and set a course for Tripoli in Lebanon.
Global food prices fell sharply in July, says FAO
After food prices reached historic highs in March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, world food prices fell sharply last month.
That’s according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which attributed the falling prices to a double-digit drop in the cost of cereal and vegetable oil.
The FAO food price index, which tracks the variation in international prices of a basket of basic products, fell by 8.6 per cent in July, marking a fourth consecutive monthly decline.
Levels remain high, however, standing at 140.9 points in July, with an increase of 13.1 per cent over one year, compared to June 2021.
FAO chief economist, Máximo Torero Cullen, hailed a “welcome decline, especially from the point of view of access to food”.
But he warned that many risks still weigh on global food security, such as a recession or “high fertilizer prices and their potential impact on production and farmers’ livelihoods”.
Yemen: Houthis urged to reopen Taiz road to avert humanitarian emergency
Yemen’s warring sides have been urged by the UN Security Council to build on their recent truce deal renewal by “intensify(ing)” negotiations on a durable ceasefire and providing tangible improvements for the country’s people.
Yemenis have been ground down by seven years of heavy fighting between the government and Houthi opposition forces, which has caused dire food insecurity and the collapse of essential services.
An estimated 19 million people in the country face acute food insecurity or worse.
But of the more than 40 major UN programmes in Yemen, 26 have been scaled back or closed, because of a lack of funding.
The situation is particularly bad in Taiz, the country’s besieged third city, and in a statement late on Thursday, the Security Council’s 15 members urged the Houthis to open the main roads to the capital of the southwestern governorate “immediately”.
Restoring access to Taiz has been the hardest to implement of the three confidence-building steps that the UN has called for.
Despite these difficulties, the Security Council welcomed the Yemeni government’s efforts to allow fuel to reach Yemen via the Houthi-controlled port of Hudaydah, and the reopening of flights to and from the capital, Sana’a, where the Houthis are based.
Katy Dartford, UN News.