(MENAFN) In a compassionate move to address food security challenges in Africa, Russia has dispatched two shipments of free grain to Burkina Faso and Somalia, according to Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev's announcement on Friday. These shipments, each comprising 25,000 tons of Russian wheat, are anticipated to reach their destinations by late November or early December. This initiative is part of Russia's larger commitment to provide a total of 200,000 tons of free grain to African nations by the year's end.
Speaking from the 'Russia' international exhibition in Moscow, Minister Patrushev emphasized the significance of supporting African countries and expressed optimism about the positive impact of this humanitarian effort. The first two ships, laden with Russian wheat, have already set sail for Somalia and Burkina Faso, symbolizing Russia's commitment to addressing critical food security issues in the region.
Patrushev outlined Russia's comprehensive plan to extend additional free grain deliveries to the Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Mali, and Eritrea before the conclusion of 2023. This initiative follows an agreement announced by President Vladimir Putin at the Russia-Africa Forum in St. Petersburg in July, underscoring Russia's dedication to fostering positive relationships and providing assistance to African nations.
The decision to provide free grain aligns with Russia's broader efforts to enhance diplomatic ties and cooperation with African nations. By extending this humanitarian gesture, Russia aims to contribute to alleviating food insecurity in regions facing agricultural challenges, showcasing a commitment to global solidarity.
It is noteworthy that in July, Moscow chose not to renew the Black Sea Grain Initiative, citing Western interference that hindered the shipment of food and fertilizer from Russia. This initiative, initially brokered by the United Nation and Turkey in July 2022, was intended to facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain to world markets, particularly to economically disadvantaged countries, in exchange for lifting Western sanctions on Russian agricultural exports.
Despite facing Western restrictions, Russia delivered a substantial 11.5 million tons of grain to Africa in 2022, highlighting its resilience and determination to address critical needs even in challenging geopolitical environments.
As the free grain shipments make their way to Burkina Faso and Somalia, Russia's proactive approach to humanitarian assistance not only showcases its commitment to global welfare but also positions the nation as a responsible actor dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of those in need. The success of this initiative is expected to contribute significantly to regional stability and reinforce Russia's standing as a reliable and supportive global partner.
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