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25 Jan, 2024 09:37

Second delivery of free Russian wheat arrives in Somalia

Moscow promised to send 200,000 tons of the grain to six African countries last year
Second delivery of free Russian wheat arrives in Somalia

A second shipment of Russian wheat has arrived in the port of Mogadishu, Somalia as part of a humanitarian effort that will see 200,000 tons of free grain delivered to African nations from Moscow.

An official ceremony was held to mark the arrival of the free grain and was attended by members of the Somali government, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Wednesday.

“Sincere appreciation was expressed to the Russian Federation for its assistance in ensuring food security in Somalia, which is particularly important in the light of the precarious humanitarian situation in this friendly East African country,” it said in a statement.

An initial consignment of 25,000 tons of free Russian wheat arrived in Mogadishu on November 30, according to the country’s news agency, SONNA.

Another 25,000 tons of wheat was also delivered to Mali on January 17 as part of the same initiative, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed last week.

“This is the fourth free-of-charge shipment of Russian goods to the Malian population,” she said. “On June 7, June 18 and December 6, 2023, under the Russian Emergencies Ministry, a total of 50,000 tons of wheat [and] more than 22,000 tons of fertilizer were shipped.” 

The deliveries followed a decision made by Russian President Vladimir Putin last year. During the second Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg in July 2023, Moscow promised to send some 200,000 tons of free wheat to Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Chad, and Eritrea.

Meanwhile, a shipment bound for the Central African Republic (CAR) has already arrived in neighboring Cameroon and will be milled into wheat flour before completing its journey. Another 25,000-ton shipment destined for Zimbabwe has also been delivered at the port of Beira, Mozambique.

Burkina Faso is also expected to receive shipments.