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Black Sea Grain Initiative extended
The extension is critical for global food security, especially for the most vulnerable countries.
Dr.G.R.Balakrishnan Mar 23 2023 Shipping News

Black Sea Grain Initiative extended

The Black Sea Grain Initiative, signed in Istanbul in July 2022 to resume vital food and fertiliser exports from designated Ukrainian seaports, has been extended.


A note to correspondents from the Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General announced the extension recently.


“The initiative allows for the facilitation of the safe navigation for the exports of grain and related foodstuffs and fertilisers, including ammonia, from designated Ukrainian seaports,” the note said.


During the first two terms of the initiative, some 25 million metric tons of grain and foodstuffs have been moved to 45 countries, helping to bring down global food prices and stabilising the markets, according to the note.


The Black Sea Grain Initiative, alongside the Memorandum of Understanding on promoting Russian food products and fertilisers to the world markets, are critical for global food security, especially for the most vulnerable countries.


Developing countries benefit the most


UNCTAD’s report, “A Trade Hope: The impact of the Black Sea Grain Initiative”, published on March 9, said developing countries have benefited the most from the initiative, supporting food security among the most vulnerable.


But this progress is fragile and price pressures remain. While food prices have gone down from their all-time high at the start of the war, they’re still high compared to pre-crisis levels.


“Moreover, currency depreciations prevent many developing countries from benefiting from global price decreases, and, in the most severe cases, prices have even gone up,” the report said. 


The report said the UN remains committed to both agreements, and to remove all remaining impediments that constrain access of food and fertilisers from the Russian Federation and Ukraine to global markets, informed a release.