The first ship carrying grain from Ukraine for people in the hungriest parts of the world has docked at Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa.
Food security experts say it is a drop in the bucket for the vast needs in the worst-hit countries of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, the country to which the shipment is going. This first shipment of grain will be sent overland to northern Ethiopia, where millions of people have been affected by the Tigray conflict. How any of the grain will reach Tigray is in question, as humanitarian deliveries by road and air have been suspended during fighting between Tigray and Ethiopian government forces. However, Ethiopia’s neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions are expected to benefit.
The WFP has said the 23,000 metric tonnes of grain on the first ship are enough to feed 1.5 million people on full rations for a month.
But the UN has said in Tigray alone, 2.4 million people are facing severe food shortages and that 20 million people across Ethiopia face hunger.
Food security experts have said it could take weeks for people in African countries to receive grain from Ukraine, and even longer for the grain to bring down high food prices.