Somalia is facing a grain shortage, according to an official from the Food and Agriculture Organization FILE PHOTO. © Getty Images / Hanukov_D / 500px

Russian wheat deliveries to Somalia accounted for 23% of the country’s yearly consumption over the past year, the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Russian branch, Oleg Kobyakov, told Sputnik in an interview published on Wednesday.

Kobyakov noted that the grain shortage in the East African country had amounted to 115,000 metric tonnes.

According to the FAO official, Russian supplies have covered 9% of the wheat requirements in Burkina Faso and 6% in Mali.

Kobyakov also emphasized the importance of Russian fertilizer deliveries to various African nations, describing them as “the most important and promising for next season’s production.”

The Russian company Uralchem, which is one of the world’s largest fertilizer producers, has sent over 134,000 tons of fertilizers to the continent free of charge. In collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), over 111,000 tons have been shipped from European ports and warehouses to Malawi, Nigeria, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.

Kobyakov previously stated that the FAO is open to working closely with Russia in Africa.

The West warned of world hunger: Russia has met its promise of grain for Africa’s most-vulnerable The West warned of world hunger: Russia has met its promise of grain for Africa’s most-vulnerable

In February, Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev stated that 200,000 tons of free grain had been delivered to six African countries in what was a fulfillment of a pledge to assist those countries in fighting hunger. The initiative was announced at the second Russia-Africa summit last summer.

According to the minister, Mali, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, and Eritrea each received 25,000 tons of Russian wheat. Somalia and the Central African Republic each received 50,000 tons.

“This was, in fact, the first time that such a large-scale humanitarian action had been carried out by our country,” Patrushev said.

The first cargo ship for Somalia carrying the aid arrived in the country on November 30, while the second delivery of Russian wheat was delivered on January 24.

In mid-January, Mali and Burkina Faso also received free Russian grain. (RT)