French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday he is considering issuing vouchers to help middle and low-income families facing rising food prices made worse by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We will be facing a world-wide food crisis,” Macron said in an interview with France Bleu radio on Tuesday. “I want to put in place a food voucher [system] to help the most modest households and the middle class facing these additional costs.”
The proposed food vouchers would be similar to the country’s current system of energy vouchers which, among other things, helps pay the electricity and gas bills of roughly 5.8 million low-income households every year, according to data from the French Finance Ministry.
Macron reiterated that France and Europe need to eventually achieve food independence, a key element of his re-election campaign agenda.
The first round of voting for France’s presidential election is scheduled to take place on April 10.
Some background: The Ukrainian government has banned exports on key agricultural goods, including wheat, corn, grains, salt and meat.
Ukraine is one of Europe’s largest suppliers of agricultural produce, per data from the European Commission. Combined, Russia and Ukraine are responsible for almost 30% of global wheat exports, according to Gro Intelligence, an agricultural data analytics firm.
Macron has previously said that both Europe and Africa "will be very profoundly destabilized in food supplies."