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Holding on to hope

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths on this year’s World Humanitarian Day

When the merchant vessel Razoni sailed from Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa earlier this month with more than 26,000 tons of corn for global markets, she was rightly the subject of intense attention.

Her passage was the result of months of negotiations between Russia, Türkiye, Ukraine and the United Nations, including UN humanitarian staff, logisticians and legal experts. For the first time since the war in Ukraine began five months earlier, sea exports of Ukrainian crops were to resume, giving much-needed hope to millions of people beaten down by rising food prices and declining supplies, pushing many into hunger and even famine conditions.

And hope is so rare these days.

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