First Swiss food delivery arrives in Ukraine
Switzerland has delivered a first consignment of food supplies to the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, as part of a series of aid shipments to the country’s “suffering civilian population”, it said on Friday.
“In cooperation with its Ukrainian partner Astarta-Kyiv, yesterday Switzerland handed over a first consignment of oil, sugar, flour, corn and powdered milk purchased on the Ukrainian market,” says a foreign ministry press releaseExternal link. This came at the request of the Odessa authorities, who are working to ensure strategic supplies in case of a potential blockade.
Since last week, a team from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit has travelled several times from Moldova to Ukraine to prepare a series of deliveries, amounting to 1,400 tons of food products for Odessa, according to the press release.
The first delivery to Odessa, which has a population of over a million, comes as “the situation in Ukraine is deteriorating”, says the foreign ministry. Some 12 million people are in need of assistance throughout the country, according to the UN. The fighting has displaced more than 7.2 million people and several regions are at risk of food insecurity. Millions of people face shortages of water, food, medical care and electricity due to Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned on Friday that prices for world food commodities like grains and vegetable oils have reached their highest levels ever because of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Both Ukraine and Russia are major exporters of grain and vegetable oils, and aid agencies have warned of rising food insecurity in other countries, especially in parts of Africa already hit by drought.
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