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António Guterres applauds grain export deal in Odesa port

António Guterres applauds grain export deal in Odesa port

  • UN Secretary-General António Guterres visits the Ukrainian port city of Odesa.
  • Praised UN-brokered deal between Kyiv and Moscow to resume safe passage for merchant ships.
  • Urged wealthy countries to “open their wallets and hearts” to countries bearing the brunt of the global food crisis.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in the Ukrainian port city of Odesa on Friday.

Guterres praised an UN-brokered deal between Kyiv and Moscow to resume safe passage for merchant ships from Ukrainian Black Sea ports after meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the western city of Lviv on Thursday and said there were signs that global food markets were beginning to stabilize.

“As we speak, more than 560,000 metric tons of grain and other food produced by Ukrainian farmers is making its way to markets around the world,” the UN chief said, adding that wheat prices dropped by as much as 8% following the signing of the agreement, according to remarks distributed by his office.

In less than a month since the grain agreement was signed, 25 cargo ships had left Ukrainian ports carrying more than 600,000 tonnes of grain and food supplies, according to Guterres.

However, he cautioned that supply chains remain disrupted, energy and transportation costs remain high, and Russian fertilizers must reach global markets. “Without fertilizer in 2022, there may be insufficient food in 2023.”

He urged wealthy countries to “open their wallets and hearts” to countries bearing the brunt of the global food crisis.

“Let us take inspiration from Odesa. Today, Odesa is more than just a shipping center. This port is a symbol of what the world can do when we commit to working together for the common good,” Guterres added.

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