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U.N.-chartered ship in Ukraine ready to leave for Africa

STORY: The ship, which arrived in the port near Odesa, will sail to Ethiopia via a grain corridor through the Black Sea brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in late July.

It will be the first humanitarian food aid cargo bound for Africa since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. under the framework of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Denise Brown, UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine, said the grain was urgently needed in Ethiopia, and the United Nations would work to ensure continued shipments to countries around Africa that are facing famine and sharply higher food prices.

“This shipment and WFP will say more about it is the first of we hope the many shipments to come to countries that are suffering great difficulties. There are at least five who are already in famine-like conditions and another 20 that are on what we call ‘the watch list for famine’,” said Brown.

Ukrainian authorities have not released details on when the Brave Commander will sail or when it will arrive in Ethiopia, citing security concerns.

A total of 16 ships have now departed from Ukraine, according to authorities there, following the deal with Russia to allow a resumption of grain exports from Ukraine's Black Sea ports, after they were stalled for five months due to the war.