A UN World Food Programme-charted vessel departed today from the Ukrainian Black Sea Port of Yuznhy (Pivdennyi) with wheat grain destined for the agency’s humanitarian response in Yemen. This is the second maritime shipment of WFP food assistance to leave Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict in February. The MV Karteria, carrying 37,000 metric tons of wheat grain, will stop first in Turkey, where the grain will be milled into flour. It will then be shipped to Yemen, where over 17 million people are struggling with acute hunger – a figure that is expected to rise in the coming months.
The grain will provide a 50-kg bag of wheat flour to nearly 4 million people for one month and will help WFP address immediate gaps in assistance.
“The war in Ukraine has been the last straw in Yemen against a backdrop of prolonged conflict, the resulting economic crisis, and dwindling funds for humanitarian response,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Yemen, Richard Ragan. “It is paramount to get commodities flowing back into the country and especially grain – for humanitarian and commercial purposes. This is vital to keep prices at bay.”
Getting Ukrainian grain to WFP’s humanitarian operations in Yemen will ensure a double benefit to both Ukraine’s economy and famine-risk populations in areas of the world hardest hit by the global food crisis such as Yemen. Yemen is particularly reliant on direct imports of wheat flour – a key staple in Yemenis’ diet –from Russia and Ukraine. An estimated 46 percent of Yemen’s 2021 wheat imports came from Ukraine and Russia.