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Three more ships loaded with Ukrainian grain left the country's Black Sea ports on Friday

the latest shipments to be brokered by Turkey and the United Nations to ease the growing food crisis.

Ships carrying more than 58,000 tonnes of maize are on their way to Ireland

the United Kingdom and Turkey, the United Nations said in a statement

More than a dozen ships have been stuck in Ukraine since Russia invaded in February and are carrying a fraction of the country's remaining 20 million tons of grain

A fourth ship has been inspected by United Nations officials in Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and Istanbul and is on its way to Ukraine, officials said.

The export deal began this week when the first ship was cleared to sail to Lebanon

Experts say most of Ukraine's grain exports are used for animal feed, not human consumption

and do not have a significant impact on global prices for cargo corn, wheat and soybeans.