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Finland to help UN ship Ukraine grain to Somalia

Finland will be supporting the grain shipments of the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) from Ukraine to Somalia as part of its bid to increase assistance to the famine-ridden Horn of Africa region, the Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday.

Finland will allocate €15.7 million in humanitarian assistance to the region, of which €7 million will be used to help WFP transport Ukrainian grain to Somalia, the ministry’s statement released on Tuesday reads.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNCHR), the Finnish Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will deliver the rest of the humanitarian assistance, which focuses on food security and protecting the estimated 3.5 million refugees in the region.

Many more in the region, about 20 million, are in need of food aid. The Horn of Africa is suffering from a record-breaking drought after a fifth consecutive failed rainy season.

“Our humanitarian assistance will make it possible to give people shelter, clean water and health services. There is a pressing shortage of them both in the region’s communities and in the refugee camps,” said the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)