[Answered] What is the Black Sea Grain Initiative? Discuss its importance in tackling the global food crisis.

Introduction: Explain Black Sea Grain Initiative.
Body: Explain its importance in tackling the global food crisis.Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, exports of grain from Ukraine, as well as food and fertilizers from Russia, have been significantly hit.  The Black Sea Grain deal endeavours to tackle escalating food prices emanating from supply chain disruptions. The deal is brokered by the UN and Turkey and signed by the UN, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine to resume Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea amid the war.

It was to provide for a safe maritime humanitarian corridor for Ukrainian exports (particularly for food grains). The central idea was to calm markets by ensuring an adequate supply of grains, thereby limiting food price inflation. It foresees the establishment of a control centre in Istanbul, to be staffed by U.N., Turkish, Russian and Ukrainian officials, to run and coordinate the process. Ships would undergo inspections to ensure they are not carrying weapons.

Importance in tackling the global food crisis:

  • As per the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, approximately 10.1 million tonnes of grains have been shipped since the initiative commenced.
  • It was earlier inferred that the supply situation in markets was seen to be easing, with potential for further price drops.
  • People hoarding the grain in the hope of selling it for a sizeable profit owing to the supply crunch were obligated to sell.
  • The initiative has also been credited for having made a “huge difference” to the global cost of living crisis.
  • Ukraine is among the largest exporters of wheat, maize, rapeseed, sunflower seeds and sunflower oil, Its access to the deep-sea ports in the Black Seaenables it to directly approach Russia and Europe along with grain importers from the Middle East and North Africa.
  • The shipment of grain and food stocks into world markets will help bridge the global food supply gap and reduce pressure on high prices.
  • About 44% of the shipments, which include corn, wheat, rapeseed, and sunflower oil among others, reached high-income, 28% reached low and lower-middle-income countries and 27% reached upper-middle income countries.
  • Its access to the deep-sea ports in the Black Sea enables it to directly approach Russia and Europealong with grain importers from the Middle East and North Africa.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative is a welcoming step as ensuring food security to the people will protect them from another impending global food crisis.

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