UN chief seeking renewal of grain deal - spokesperson

UN chief seeking renewal of grain deal - spokesperson

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expresses his strong support to the renewal and full implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which expires on November 22.

According to an Ukrinform correspondent, his spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said this in a statement on Friday.

"We underline the urgency of doing so to contribute to food security across the world, and to cushion the suffering that this global cost-of-living crisis is inflicting on billions of people," the statement reads.

Dujarric recalled that exports of grains and other food products under the Black Sea Grain Initiative has surpassed 9 million tonnes, with the close monitoring and coordination of the Joint Coordination Centre, comprising representatives from the Russian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN under the terms of the agreement.

The resumption of exports has significantly contributed to lower prices of wheat and other commodities, Dujarric said. According to UN estimates, the reduction of prices for staple foods has indirectly prevented some 100 million people from falling into extreme poverty.

The initial duration of the agreement to facilitate grains and fertilizer exports from Ukraine is 120 days and can be extended automatically on November 19 if no party objects, Dujarric said.

According to him, "the United Nations is fully committed to continuing to work with all parties to ensure that we reach this goal."

Governments, shipping companies, grain and fertilizer traders and farmers all over the world are now looking for clarity on the future, he added.

In Istanbul on July 22, at the United Nations' proposal, Ukraine, Turkey and Guterres signed the Initiative on the Safe Transportation of Grain and Foodstuffs from the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi.

The first ship with Ukrainian food left the port of Odesa on August 1.

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