The United States of America will provide the UN World Food Program (WFP) with $68 million to buy wheat in Ukraine and then send it to countries most vulnerable in terms of food security, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said.
“The United States will contribute $68 million to the World Food Program to purchase Ukrainian wheat to address the acute global food crisis. We are committed to maintaining global food security for the most vulnerable and urge all countries to follow suit,” Blinken said on Twitter on Wednesday.
As reported, on June 28, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved a draft agreement with WFP on the resumption of the work of its office in the country, which will allow the organization, among other things, to purchase agricultural products from Ukrainian companies for the implementation of international humanitarian programs.
WFP is expected to participate in the purchase of agricultural and food products from Ukrainian companies for the needs of UN international humanitarian projects.
On Thursday, August 18, UN Secretary General António Guterres will take part in a trilateral meeting in Lviv with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Deputy Secretary General Stefan Dujjarik said on Tuesday.
“The UN Secretary General will arrive in Lviv on Thursday for a trilateral meeting with Turkish President Erdogan and Ukrainian leader Zelensky,” he said.
“The next day he will go to Odessa and visit the local port, one of the three busiest ports on the Black Sea,” he said.
Duzhzharik added that the UN expects a bilateral meeting between Guterres and Zelensky.
In Istanbul on July 22, with the participation of the UN, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, two documents were signed on the creation of a corridor for the export of grain from three ports on Ukrainian territory – Chornomorsk, Odessa and Yuzhny.
Earlier, the “Club of Experts” released an analysis of the main events that should take place on August 15-21 in Ukraine and the world. For more video review, see the link
World food prices in July decreased by 8.6% compared to June. This is the sharpest decline since October 2008, according to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).
The decline continues for the fourth month in a row after the historical maximum recorded in March.
The FAO Food Price Index stood at 140.9 in July, down 8.6% from its June level. However, it is still 13.1% higher than in July last year. “The fall in the index in July was the sharpest since October 2008 and was driven by large declines in vegetable oil and cereals price indices and somewhat smaller declines in sugar, dairy and meat price indices,” the FAO said in a survey.
The grain price index in July decreased by 11.5% compared to June, but remained 16.6% higher than in July 2021. In part, prices fell in July due to an agreement reached between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN to resume grain exports from Ukraine. In addition, the start of harvesting in the Northern Hemisphere contributed to lower prices. At the same time, international wheat prices are still 24.8% higher than in July last year.
“International prices for feed grains also continue to show a downward trend for the fourth month in a row: they fell by 11.2% compared to June, but remain 12.1% higher than last year. The main reason for the fall in world prices for corn by 10, 7% was the conclusion of an agreement to unblock Ukrainian ports. The seasonal increase in supply in Argentina and Brazil also contributed to the decline in prices, where harvesting is ahead of last year’s figures,” the report says.
The price index for vegetable oils in July fell by 19.2%, to its lowest level in the last 10 months. “Such a sharp drop was caused by a decline in world prices for palm, soybean, rapeseed and sunflower oils,” the document explains. Moreover, despite the ongoing uncertainty with logistics in the Black Sea region, international prices for sunflower oil have significantly decreased against the backdrop of a reduction in import demand in the world as a whole. The decrease in world quotations of vegetable oils was also facilitated by the reduction in prices for crude oil.
The price index for dairy products last month decreased by 2.5% compared to June, and increased by 25.4% compared to July last year. International quotations of skimmed milk powder, as well as butter and whole milk powder, fell the most, due to weak market activity in Europe due to the onset of the summer holiday period, FAO experts explained. At the same time, world cheese prices remained stable, as strong domestic sales in European tourist destinations offset weak import demand in international markets.
The Meat Price Index fell 0.5% in July, the first drop after a continuous six-month rise.
The sugar price index in July decreased by 3.8% compared to June. The decline continues for the third month in a row and reached the lowest value in the last five months, the review explains. “International sugar quotations were affected by concerns about the expected further slowdown in the global economy in 2022 and the resulting decrease in demand. In addition, the weakening of the exchange rate of the Brazilian real against the US dollar and the reduction in ethanol prices, which led to an increase in the volume of sugar production in Brazil in the first half of July compared to previous forecasts. Prices were also affected by favorable forecasts for sugar production in India and a possible increase in its exports. However, concerns about the impact of prolonged hot and dry weather on crops in the European Union prevented prices from dropping even lower, the document says.
The FAO Food Price Index is a weighted average that tracks international price movements for five major food commodity groups.
The losses inflicted on the agricultural sector of Ukraine as a result of the war amount to $4 billion to $6 billion, representative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Viktoria Mykhalchuk has said.
“Preliminary estimates from June indicate that the losses inflicted on the agricultural sector as a result of the war are between $4 billion and $6 billion, including damage to infrastructure such as irrigation equipment, storage facilities, shipping and processing infrastructure, greenhouses, field crops, and farm animals,” Mykhalchuk said at a briefing at the Ukraine Media Center in Kyiv on Friday.
She noted that this year, according to FAO estimates, Ukraine expects to harvest up to 51 million tonnes of grain.
“Given the areas that were directly affected by the war, only 61 million tonnes of the total of 75 million storage facilities are physically accessible. Some 14% are damaged or destroyed, and 10% are located on the territory occupied by Russia,” Mykhalchuk said.
According to her, of the available storage facilities, 35% remain filled with 22 million tonnes of grains and oilseeds, which are awaiting export.
“That is, only 65% of the storage facilities are available,” the FAO spokeswoman explained.
Mykhalchuk said that FAO is also working with the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine on alternative ways to export grain from Ukraine.
“One of the alternative ways that we are currently supporting is exporting through Romania and helping the Izmail laboratory to increase its capacity so that certification takes place much faster and, accordingly, the number of exports, possibly through these borders, increases,” she said.
Civilian casualties from February 24, when Russia started the war against Ukraine, to 24:00 on July 11 amounted to 11,544 civilians (as of July 3 – 11,152), including 5,024 dead (4,889), the Office of the UN High Commissioner reported Human Rights Council (OHCHR) on Tuesday.
“Most of the reported civilian deaths or injuries were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a large area of effect, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, as well as rocket and air strikes,” the document notes on UN data.
This is the case, for example, in Mariupol (Donetsk region), Izyum (Kharkiv region), Lysychansk, Popasna and Severodonetsk (Luhansk region), where numerous civilian deaths or injuries were reported.
According to confirmed UN data, 1905 men, 1316 women, 161 boys and 141 girls died, while the sex of 41 children and 1460 adults has not yet been determined.
Among the 6,520 wounded were 202 boys and 144 girls, as well as 187 children whose gender has not yet been determined.
Compared to July 3, eight children were killed and 12 more were injured.
If earlier the OHCHR report on the number of casualties was published daily, and then only on weekdays, now it has become a weekly one. In this report, as in the previous one, data are also given by months.
According to them, the deadliest month for civilians was March, with a minimum of 3,028 deaths, while in April their number dropped to 660, in May to 453 and in June to 361.
From 1 to 11 July, according to the UN, 159 people died, while in the first five days of the war from 24 to 28 February – 336.
According to the report, in July, 157 people died from explosive weapons with a large impact zone and another 364 were injured, while mines and explosive remnants of war – respectively 2 and 2 (1% of total casualties).
The summary also traditionally states that increases from the previous report should not be attributed only to cases after 3 July, as during this period the Office verified a number of cases from previous days.
Ukrainians receive $85 mln worth of transfers through PrivatBank, Western Union from UN WFP
KYIV. June 16 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainians have received more than 600,000 transfers worth $85 million through the state-owned PrivatBank (Kyiv) and the Western Union international payment system from the UN World Food Program (WFP), the bank’s press service reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, 95% of transfers were received online to a PrivatBank card.
The press service recalled that in May, the UN WFF began disbursing cash assistance to internally displaced persons in Ukraine through Western Union. The amount of assistance is UAH 2,220 per person and up to UAH 6,660 per family.
According to the statistics of the National Bank of Ukraine, as of April 1, 2022, PrivatBank ranked first (UAH 592.38 billion) among 69 banks operating in the country in terms of total assets.