In a message to Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron promised €6 million in additional aid for Ukrainian grain exports, which are vital for the supply of many African and Asian countries.

26 November 2022 - Check against delivery

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Message from President Emmanuel Macron for the launch of the Grain from Ukraine initiative.

Mr President, dear Volodymyr,

We are gathered together today to commemorate the immense tragedy that was the great famine known as Holodomor from 1932 to 1933, which caused millions of victims in Ukraine and was
provoked by a totalitarian regime: the Soviet regime. Then and now, the Ukrainian nation has shown its determination and earned our admiration.

As we know, Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine has aggravated the destabilization of
supply chains and threatens the world with a food crisis. The most vulnerable countries
must not pay the price of a war they did not want.

While we have chosen to act in solidarity with the most vulnerable countries, Russia, for its part, has continued to use hunger as leverage and as a weapon of war.

Faced with this threat, France, like Ukraine and all of our partners, has decided to make the choice, as it will always, to show solidarity through action:

  • With its “Solidarity Lanes”, the European Union has already allowed over 15 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain to reach the rest of the world. That's around 60% of the grain that we were able to get out of the region.
  • The 120-day extension of the “Black Sea Grain Initiative”, brokered by the United Nations thanks to Turkey's mediation, is also essential to helping the most vulnerable countries. It must be pursued.
  • And the launch today of the "Grain from Ukraine Initiative" by the Ukrainian President makes a major contribution to strengthening global food security.

In these circumstances, so difficult for itself, Ukraine has decided to show its solidarity with the rest
of the international community and in particular with the populations who are the collateral victims of this war which Ukraine itself is undergoing. I would like to commend this initiative that reflects the courage of the Ukrainian people.

France stands with Ukraine, the most vulnerable countries and the World Food Programme. We are contributing 14 million dollars to help the World Food Programme deliver 25,000 tonnes of wheat donated by Ukraine to Somalia.

Furthermore, I am announcing today an additional contribution of 6 million euros for the transport and distribution by the World Food Programme of Ukrainian grain to Yemen and Sudan.

As you know, we are also continuing the other operations to allow the export of grains, as well as fertilizers from the region, and to show that we are making every effort in this situation
to support food solidarity for the most vulnerable in Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia. We stand ready to continue our financial support for any upcoming operations with the World Food Programme, as with all of our partners.

As the Bali Summit confirmed, and this operation shows once again: in response to the food emergency faced by our most vulnerable partners, only actions count. That is why France remains fully mobilized to mitigate the global consequences of Russia's aggression, with emergency measures for grain and fertilizers and with long-term measures to fight against all forms of export ban or overstocking by certain other partners. And to also carry out operations that will allow the most vulnerable countries to build their food independence over time: more production at home with in-depth policies that we are pursuing with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, IFAD and several others. This is the direction of the initiatives that we have launched these past months, from New York to Bali.

I thank President Volodymyr Zelensky for his courage, and his choice to show solidarity. He can count on France, and all the most vulnerable countries thinking anxiously about their food security can count on our full and complete mobilization.

Thank you.