U.N. wheat ship from Ukraine arrives in Africa

STORY: A ship carrying wheat from Ukraine to the drought-stricken Horn of Africa docked on Tuesday (August 30), the United Nations has said.

The Brave Commander is the first vessel to make the journey since Russia's invasion six months ago - which Moscow calls a "special military operation".

The bulk carrier has been transporting been carrying more than 20,000 tons of grain, to be unloaded in Djibouti and transported to Ethiopia.

According to the World Food Programme that, and another shipment following close behind, is enough to feed 1.5 million people for a month.

It's a drop in the ocean.

The WFP says extreme weather, surging food prices, and conflict mean 82 million people in East Africa need food aid across nine countries.

Officials hope the Brave Commander's successful voyage will inspire private companies to begin shipping grain from Ukraine to Eastern Africa.

Rising global food prices and difficulties in raising donor funding have forced the U.N. to cut rations for refugees and displaced people in the region.

The Brave Commander was loaded earlier this month after the U.N. and Turkey brokered a deal between Kyiv and Moscow to unblock three Black Sea ports.

Russia and Ukraine usually supply 90% of East Africa's wheat imports.

Michael Dunford, the WFP's director for Eastern Africa, said food has to keep flowing to save lives.

But he warned it will take many months to recover from the disruption caused by the Ukraine conflict.