ALEXANDRIA, Va – Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), a nonprofit humanitarian and advocacy organization, issued the following statement regarding Russia not renewing the grain export shipment agreement that was negotiated several months ago and provides a food lifeline to several African countries. The agreement enables shipments of grain such as wheat from ports in Ukraine to cross the Black Sea to various countries Africa.
“Islamic Relief USA is extremely disappointed and dismayed to learn about Russia backing out of the grain export deal that was diligently negotiated by the United Nations, among other entities. The risks of hunger, malnutrition, malnourishment and other dire effects associated with food insecurity are expected to increase in Africa — which heavily relies on these wheat shipments – if this lasts for an extended period of time. That is extremely disturbing for the world community. We cannot stand by and let this happen. We call on all negotiators to resume discussions to lift this halt on grain export shipments as soon as possible. We hope to prevent the food crises in the affected countries from exacerbating further.”
A similar situation took place until intervention from the United Nations, among others, compelled Russia and Ukraine signed agreements to allow millions of tons of Ukrainian grain to be exported. Prior to that agreement, some 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain had been trapped at the Black Sea ports.
Islamic Relief conducts several programs in Africa to strengthen food security, and they depend on this grain from Ukraine to feed their populations. Without this precious resource, countries like Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, among others, face additional suffering and a greater likelihood of a full-blown famine.
Each of these countries had already been battling various climate-related problems, such as droughts. According to a 2022 article from the Washington Post, over 7 million people in Somalia face acute food insecurity, with almost 250,000 people at risk of imminent starvation because of the grain blockade.
Syed M. Hassan
(571) 421-7032 (CELL)
Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. Its mission is to provide relief and development in a dignified manner regardless of gender, race, or religion, and works to empower individuals in their communities and give them a voice in the world. Its programs benefit millions of people each year in more than 40 countries around the world, including in the United States.
Islamic Relief USA meets all of the Standards for Charity Accountability of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a national charity monitoring group affiliated with the Better Business Bureau system. Islamic Relief USA is on the U.S. government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity list, and it is also a signatory to the code of conduct of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.