CARE Urges All Parties to Reinstate the Black Sea Grain Initiative

18 July 2023


CARE is extremely alarmed at the news that Russia has decided to withdraw their participation in the Black Sea Initiative with Ukraine. This initiative, that was meant to provide the safe passage of grain and commodities, has been a lifeline to millions of people suffering with food insecurity from Ukraine to the Horn of Africa. We strongly urge all parties to uphold their obligations in the agreement, and remain at the negotiating table to find an alternative solution and mitigate the impacts that will flow from the collapse of the initiative. Leadership and genuine commitment by all parties involved is critical to ensuring that the impacts to the world's hungriest are not exacerbated.

Helen Thompson, Acting CEO of CARE International UK, said:

"We are deeply concerned with the suspension of the Black Sea deal. This suspension will have a massive negative impact on the poor globally, especially women and families, increasing their food insecurity. The agreement has allowed for the export of grain from the Black Sea ports, mitigating the severe global food crisis. The interruption in grain deliveries will cause shocks on economically fragile countries in the Middle East and North Africa that rely on these imports and destabilise food prices globally with enormous consequences for millions of people."

According to Juan Echanove, Associate Vice-President for Food Systems at CARE:

"Ukraine and Russia are two of the World’s top breadbaskets, especially for critical commodities such as wheat, corn, barley, and sunflower oil, as well as for fertilizers, which are critical for agricultural production. More than 30 million tons of foodstuffs have been shipped from Ukraine despite the war, thanks to this arrangement. Millions of people in countries in need, especially refugees and ultra-poor, are dependent on these supplies. Without the agreement, there is a huge risk of food prices soaring massively, so poverty and hunger will keep growing in places like Somalia, Yemen, or Lebanon. Lack of access to fertilizers will also hit millions of small-scale producers, especially women farmers, in Africa and elsewhere, affecting the yields and endangering their families and communities."

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