I RC: 12 Hours of Hope was a bitter disappointment; The bombing of Odessa adds to the catastrophe of world hunger

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The IRC is appalled by reports that Ukraine’s Black Sea port was badly damaged by a missile attack less than 12 hours after an agreement to release more than 20 million tonnes of stranded wheat and grain exports cereals. It is impunity in action: both illegal and immoral acts increasingly characterize modern warfare and pose a grave threat to the international order.


David Miliband, CEO and Chairman of the International Rescue Committee, said:


“For 12 hours, we dared to hope for relief from the global hunger crisis thanks to Ukrainian grain shipments. Now the hopes look like a cruel deception. We know that 18 million people suffer from extreme food insecurity in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, and that their countries depend heavily on Ukrainian cereals. The expeditions were literally a lifesaver.


The attack on the port is emblematic of the era of impunity, where state and non-state actors can commit atrocities without accountability. We have already said it; the war in Ukraine is a tragedy for Ukraine but also a global catastrophe for those who need it most. This last twist is as cruel as it is dangerous.


The IRC launched an emergency response to the crisis in Ukraine in February 2022 and is working directly and with local partners to reach those most in need. We are in Ukraine, Poland and Moldova, providing vital services such as cash assistance, mental health support and safe healing and learning spaces for children. In East Africa, the IRC is implementing a drought response plan, supporting more than one million people with essential nutrition, health, water and sanitation and aid services cash.


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