UN Secretary-General António Guterres said Ukrainian grain shipments offer “hope” for the world during his visit to Turkey on Saturday.
Some 25 ships have transported more than 600,000 tonnes of grain since a deal was negotiated between Ukraine and Russia in late July.
Grain exports had been blocked at southern Ukrainian ports amid fighting in the country.
Speaking in Istanbul, Guterres said the shipments were the “beginning of a much longer process.”
“More than 650,000 metric tons of grain and other food are already on their way to markets around the world,” he said.
“I was very moved to see the wheat filling the ship’s hold. It was the cargo of hope for so many people around the world.”
On Friday, Guterres visited Odessa, Ukraine’s main port on the Black Sea, where he called for financial aid for the poorest countries facing food shortages.
“As these ports open, I call on the wealthiest countries to open their wallets and hearts too. After all, the movement of grains doesn’t mean much to countries that can’t afford it.” , he said.
“It is time for massive and generous support so that developing countries can buy food from this and other ports, and people can buy it.
“Developing countries need access to finance now. They need debt relief now. They need resources now to invest in their people.”