According to official statistics and GDP per capita, Moldova is ranked as the poorest country in Europe. The country, like others in the region, suffered a major economic setback after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Despite some economic growth in recent years, migration for employment and income opportunities is the norm.
Every hour, it is estimated that four people leave the country for a better life. As a result, the population shrinks by approximately one hundred people per day and Moldova’s emigration rate is amongst the highest in the world. Most people emigrate for work, which they find predominantly in Russia and the EU.
Family members in productive age leave behind their children and elderly parents and look for work abroad to send money home. In 2020, money sent home actually accounted for 16% of the country’s entire GDP and over 23 % of the households would fall below the poverty line if they did not receive remittances. Most schoolchildren and almost all university students expect to follow in their parents’ footsteps and leave the country to find work.
Beyond the poor economic situation, one of the painful legacies of the Soviet Union that Moldova and neighbouring countries are facing is the systematic institutionalisation and discrimination against people with disabilities. People in Need (PIN) is dedicated to promoting their equalisation and inclusion in society across the region.
PIN has been working in Moldova since 2003, and currently provides development support to the local population in three focus areas: agriculture and economy, social protection and inclusion, and civil society empowerment and engagement. PIN has recently launched an emergency programme to provide aid to Ukrainian refugees and assist the Moldovan families that host them, and to help the vulnerable households tackle the energy crisis.