Macron wants to introduce food vouchers — Analysis
The French president has warned of a “global food crisis” resulting from military actions in Ukraine
Emmanuel Macron, the French president, reiterated his pledge to provide food vouchers for families in need amid rising fuel costs and other raw material costs. This was despite being blamed by Russia’s ongoing military intervention in Ukraine.
In an interview with France Bleu radio on Tuesday, Macron said the world is facing “There is a global food shortage.”
Emphasizing that France has advised fellow European countries to come up with a “concerted response” to this issue, the president, who is facing the election on April 10, said his government has already taken a number of measures, including energy caps and fuel discounts, to support the country’s residents.
Stressing that Ukraine and Russia “Are true barns that provide international food supply” Macron said: “Food vouchers are a way to assist the poorest households and middle-class families to meet these extra costs..” He added that he would also want his compatriots “To buy local” and to buy French products.
Macron, who has been mulling the possibility of food vouchers ever since December 2020 is now making this one of his campaign promises.
The details about a food assistance program have yet to be disclosed. The amount of the vouchers, what products they will cover, how they would be distributed, and who could be eligible are not known.
Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s biggest crop suppliers. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD reports that 53% of world trade is in sunflower oil and seed products. 27% goes to wheat.
The European Central Bank had earlier said that food inflation “It is predicted that it will remain at an all-time high through 2022” due to high commodity prices and “Extraordinary increases” in gas and electricity prices.
The European Commission is currently working on measures which could increase the EU’s food security.
UNCTAD warns that all countries are likely to be affected by conflict-induced crises. Increases in food and fuel prices “The most vulnerable populations in emerging countries will be affected, with the greatest impact on poor households who are likely to spend the majority of their income on food. This could lead to hunger and hardship.” the organization warned.
Moscow attacked Ukraine in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics with capitals in Donetsk and Lugansk. These protocols, which were French and German-brokered, had been created to regulate the status of these regions in the Ukrainian state.
Russia now demands that Ukraine declare itself neutral and vows to not join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims that it planned to seize the two republics.
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