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Ukrainian wheat for the Horn of Africa: Germany supports international assistance mission

Ship carrying Ukrainian wheat leaves the port of Odesa

Ship carrying Ukrainian wheat leaves the port of Odesa, © picture alliance / Photoshot

22.09.2022 - Article

Ukraine is donating fifty thousand tonnes of wheat for people in need in the Horn of Africa. Germany will provide millions of dollars in support via the World Food Programme for the transportation and distribution of the wheat.

A tremendous gesture by a ravaged country: in his address to the United Nations General Assembly in the early hours of Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that his country would donate a further fifty thousand tonnes of wheat to help alleviate hunger in the world. Specifically, this assistance is to benefit people in Ethiopia and Somalia. Germany and France announced that they would provide funding via the United Nations World Food Programme for the transportation and distribution of the Ukrainian wheat.

Help at just the right time

Hunger is increasing worldwide. Currently some 800 million people around the globe do not have enough to eat. The situation is particularly dramatic in the Horn of Africa, where many regions have had hardly any rain for the past four years. Several hundred thousand people have crossed the threshold into famine. Many millions of animals have died.

The grain being delivered from Ukraine will allow 1.6 million malnourished people – equivalent to the population of a city like Munich – in Ethiopia to receive a month’s grain ration. This food assistance will help to cover families’ basic needs, enabling them to spend what little money they have on local foodstuffs such as vegetables, fish or meat instead.

Speaking in New York on 22 September, Foreign Minister Baerbock said:

This is such an important signal that Ukraine is sending in these hours: Not only are we defending our country and our people, but we are also seeking to alleviate the impact of this war worldwide. By donating fifty thousand tonnes of wheat to Ethiopia and Somalia, Ukraine is making it clear that it is also committed to international law. Germany and France will finance the transportation of this donation of grain. At this time, we are not only thinking of the people of Russia; we are not only standing shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine; we are at the side of all those forced to bear the consequences of this brutal war of aggression

Germany provides concrete support for the people in the Horn of Africa: in 2022, the Federal Foreign Office has already made available 126 million euro for humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia and its neighbouring states Somalia and Kenya.

Germany is a reliable partner in the fight against global hunger

The Federal Foreign Office spends a third of its total budget on humanitarian assistance. The bulk of this money goes on food assistance. Last year, the Federal Foreign Office supported the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to the tune of over 700 million euro, thus providing foodstuffs to millions of people. Further funding is provided for healthcare and water supplies for people in need as well as for disaster risk reduction.

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