As of April 2023, nearly 800,000 people have fled the war in Ukraine and crossed into the Republic of Moldova. Some 106,000 individuals remain in the country, according to UNHCR, and it hosts one of the highest number of refugees per capita. Most are women, children or older people, and a third are under the age of 18. Often considered one of Europe’s poorest economies, Moldova experienced record-high inflation in 2022.
In Moldova, around 95 per cent of refugees are living among host communities. The Roma community has also been impacted by the war in Ukraine and is among the most vulnerable groups in Moldova. Refugees report relying mainly on personal savings and pensions, humanitarian assistance, and informal social protection mechanisms such as remittances.
Since February 2022, displaced people – including Ukrainians, non-Ukrainian spouses, and some third-country nationals – have been welcomed into Moldova and allowed to live and work there under an ongoing “state of emergency”. As of 1 March 2023, Moldova is implementing a temporary protection mechanism which will offer people the opportunity to register for legal stay and access basic services.
NRC was registered in Moldova in April 2022. Our country office is in Chișinău. We implement both directly and through our partners. Our approach prioritises a partner-led response that builds on the capacity of local civil society actors to deliver programmes and work to support national authorities.
Emergency response: We are meeting people’s urgent needs with water and sanitation, shelter, and cash assistance support. Our frontline response has included hygiene and winterisation kit distributions for refugees and targeted vulnerable groups such as those in refugee accommodation centres (RACs), Roma groups, and vulnerable host community households.
Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA): We provide legal counselling and information to help people obtain essential documents that allow them to access services. Our counselling covers legal identity, legal stay, employment laws and procedures, housing, land and property, and the rules and regulations that govern access to essential services.
Protection from violence: NRC supports community engagement and participation to ensure displacement-affected people can access services on the ground. We work through partners and in designated community spaces to ensure information, referral mechanisms, service mapping and social cohesion activities are in place. Our community centre in Chisinau and soon-to-open facility in Ocnita are focal points for referrals, outreach, coordination and community engagement.
Education: NRC aims to ensure safe pathways back to learning for refugee children and youth, by supporting their integration into formal education and building their skills to deal with the effects of the crisis. We work to strengthen teachers’ skills and provide support to meet the needs of children who have faced displacement and trauma. Our targeted youth programming supports young leaders in designing, piloting and scaling up youth-led initiatives to respond to Ukrainian refugees’ needs.
About NRC in Moldova
- European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
- German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO)
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
- The Principality of Liechtenstein
- Torvald Klaveness
- Various private donors