The IRC is dismayed at reports that Ukraine’s Black Sea port has been heavily damaged in a missile attack less than 12 hours after a deal to release over 20 million tonnes of blockaded exports of wheat and grain.  This is impunity in action: illegal as well as immoral acts increasingly typify modern warfare, and represent a grave threat to international order.

David Miliband, CEO & President of the International Rescue Committee, said,

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

The attack on the port is emblematic of the age of impunity, where state and non state actors are able to carry out atrocities without accountability. We have said it before; the war in Ukraine is a tragedy for Ukraine but also a global disaster for those in greatest need.  This latest twist is as cruel as it is dangerous.”

The IRC launched an emergency response to the crisis in Ukraine in February 2022 and has been working directly and with local partners to reach those most in need. We are in Ukraine, Poland and Moldova, delivering 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 over 1 million people with essential nutrition, health, water and sanitation and cash assistance services.