UN stops buying Russian grain and flour for poor countries

Russian companies have been restricted in their access to tenders for the supply of food for the UN World Food Programьу, which supplies food to poor countries, the Russian agency RBC reports.

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It is a program under which food is purchased by the UN WFP and given to poor countries as humanitarian aid, and Russia has been its supplier for the past 20 years.

According to the source of the agency on the Russian market, the decrease in the number of orders from Russian exporters accredited by the UN WFP has already been felt by flour producers in the Russian Federation.

"In recent months, it has become the norm that goods of Russian origin – and we are obliged to indicate this in the tender application – are not allowed in principle," said Dmitry Sukhov, head of the humanitarian support department of Abakan Air, which is the largest Russian supplier to the UN WFP.

Invitations to some tenders to Russian suppliers stopped coming altogether.

Dilyara Ravilova-Borovik, deputy permanent representative of Russia at the WFP and other international organizations in Rome, confirmed that Russian suppliers of the UN WFP faced restrictions on admission to food supply tenders.

The first signals from Russian suppliers that they are not allowed to participate in some food supply tenders began to arrive several months ago, she said.

According to RBC, in recent years, Russian food – flour, sunflower oil, peas – accounted for up to 20% of all external supplies of the UN World Food Programme. The high share of Russia was due to the fact that Russian products were 10-15% cheaper than those of alternative suppliers.

The main recipients of Russian food under the UN WFP line have historically been the most humanitarianly vulnerable countries, such as Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, Palestine and the countries of Central Asia.

EU ministers earlier agreed to increase the tariff on grain from Russia and Belarus starting July 1, 2024.