One year since the invasion: We are helping people in Moldova support refugees from Ukraine

Published: Feb 14, 2023 Reading time: 3 minutes
One year since the invasion: We are helping people in Moldova support refugees from Ukraine
© Photo: Tereza Hronova

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has heavily impacted Moldova, which was already struggling with an energy crisis and inflation before the war. Through thousands of acts of neighbourly generosity, many Ukrainians are being hosted by Moldovans in their private homes. To sustain this kindness and reduce the burden on ordinary people, we have provided financial aid to 7,000 Moldovan households to help offset the additional costs of supporting refugees. At the same time, we continue to support local NGOs that provide legal, psychosocial, material, and other assistance to refugees.

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees have passed through Moldova, and about 100,000 remain in the country.

In the first few months after Russia invaded Ukraine, we supported Moldovan NGOs through our SOS Ukraine Emergency Appeal. This support allowed local groups to respond quickly to the situation. In the village of Vulcăneşti, just six kilometres from the Ukrainian border, a canteen for the socially vulnerable was turned into a refugee centre, especially for Ukrainian mothers with children. Local volunteers have prepared a programme for the people in the refugee centre for distractions, such as lessons in cooking local delicacies. 

The organisation Life Without Leukaemia focused on caring for seriously ill children from Ukraine and helping their families by providing facilities and treatment. They have helped more than 60 people. 

Help from the Czech Republic was also directed to the Roma women's platform ROMNI.
"I am very grateful to People in Need. It was the first, and it is still the only one that gives us the opportunity to help these people by buying food, medicine, food, everything that children need, i.e. diapers, baby food," Elena Sirbu, the head of ROMNI, describing the situation she faced at the beginning of Russia's invasion.

We also opened a child-friendly space in the town of Căușeni. In the mornings, Ukrainian pupils come to the Digital Learning Centre to join online lessons with their teachers with the help of assistants. After class, they engage in activities with their local peers in the child-friendly space.

One significant pillar of our response to the crisis has been large-scale financial assistance to households hosting Ukrainian refugees. 

We have repeatedly sent financial assistance to more than 7,000 households - 3,900 lei (€190) for hosting up to four refugees and 4,800 lei (€240) if they host five or more. Thus, Moldovans can better cope with their daily expenses, which have increased due to the more significant number of people in the household. Paying for gas and electricity costs is more complex than in previous years, and the energy crisis is making it even harder. 

"The money we receive can pay for utility expenses - water, electricity and gas."

Nearly 45,000 Moldovans have received the allowance in response to the energy crisis.

With the support of the European Union and in collaboration with Clinica Juridică, we provide psychosocial assistance and legal counselling in refugee accommodation in northern Moldova. Over the past year, 2,517 people have received psychosocial support from us.

"I work with children who have lost their fathers in the war, which is challenging. They cannot sleep, which often leads to psychological problems," says Anastasia Russu, a psychologist with People in Need. 

The Biaz Gul Civic Association is another of our partner organisations. Working in the south of Moldova. Biaz Gul has created two mobile teams consisting of a psychologist, a lawyer and a social worker to provide general information and offer people individual assistance.

We are ready to continue helping refugees from Ukraine and the people of Moldova.

Autor: Tereza Hronová

Related articles