French President Emmanuel Macron stated on Tuesday, March 22, his proposal to set up food vouchers for low-income households in France to assist them in coping with food inflation brought on by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“I want to set up food coupons to assist the most modest households and middle-class families in coping with the higher expenditures,” Macron told a Radio channel during his re-election campaign.
On April 10, France will vote for the first round of presidential elections.
Moreover, the French leader was responding to a baker’s posed by a baker that, in the backdrop of the war, fuel, power, and flour prices have increased, leaving the general populace to fend for themselves without government assistance.
Although Macron did not go into detail on the food stamps, he did say that his government has put together a package to help self-employed people as well as low- and middle-income families cope with rising energy and food prices.
His remarks are reminiscent of the World War II food crisis when European countries were obliged to issue food stamps and limit basic foods.
Moreover, he stated that France would be affected by the global food crisis in the coming months, as Russia and Ukraine are worldwide food granaries.
He noted it would be pertinent for Europe to effectively draw a strategy to deal with surges in food costs.
France will pursue a food independence strategy, equivalent to the country’s aim of energy independence from Russian gas and oil in the coming decade.
“We will defend, protect, and build our independence in the face of the global food crisis,” he declared.
Europe is experiencing a severe energy crisis due to sanctions imposed on Russia, which has resulted in high fuel and gas prices, affecting millions of people’s everyday lives and transportation. Russia is a significant supplier of gas and oil to several countries.
As the conflict persists, the Ukrainian government has alerted that the nation may not produce sufficient crops for exports next year as farmers cannot attend the sowing season.
Ukraine is an essentially agricultural country that produces wheat, corn, barley, and vegetable oil. It is regarded as Europe’s breadbasket. On the other hand, the prolonged battle may produce massive disruptions in food production and supplies.
Furthermore, last week, Macron warned that the conflict might lead to a food catastrophe in Africa and the Middle East, citing the fact that Ukraine and Russia are both major crop producers. The two countries account for over half of Africa’s wheat imports.
On Monday, during a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned of the actual danger of hunger if the Ukraine crisis continues. According to him, the EU must take command of the issue and establish a strategy to address the food crisis.
According to Le Drian, the war has made it impossible for Ukrainian farmers to sow, harvest, or export their crops.