Over 1.9 million refugees from Ukraine have entered Romania since the war in Ukraine began. As of 2023, 107,700 are currently present in the country according to UNHCR and the majority have registered for temporary protection. In Romania, the refugee population is 80 per cent women and children. A third are under 18 years old and 8 per cent are elderly.
Most of the refugees report relying on remittances, social benefits or humanitarian assistance to make ends meet. Livelihood opportunities are limited in Romania and refugees report experiencing language barriers and challenges finding the right employment opportunities.
Along with other EU states, Romania implemented the Temporary Protection Directive in early March 2022, allowing refugees access to national systems and services including education, health, housing, social services, and access to employment.
Despite the high rate of registration for temporary protection, refugees continue to report outstanding needs, including information on how to access childcare, support for family reunification, employment opportunities and professional qualifications, among others.
NRC started working in Romania in February 2022 before registering in Moldova in April 2022. We maintain a partner-led response in Romania, coordinated through our Moldova office. In Romania, our partners are at the forefront of implementation, providing support in the following areas.
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: We provide legal counselling and information to help people obtain 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 Romania
- 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