Lessons from the markets: MSMA in the north region of Moldova

Published 04. Jun 2024
Since February 24, 2022, the Republic of Moldova has recorded a total of 907,999 arrivals from Ukraine, contributing to a larger crisis involving 6.2 million Ukrainian refugees worldwide.

By the end of August 2022, the count of individual Ukrainian refugees residing in Moldova had risen to 109,055. The winter season poses increased vulnerabilities for both refugees and Moldovan citizens due to elevated living costs, primarily attributed to additional heating expenses. Severe weather conditions can create additional obstacles to accessing services and community life for specific groups, notably older persons, individuals with disabilities, and single-headed households with a high dependency ratio. 

According to UNHCR's Post-Distribution Monitoring (PDM) of Multipurpose Cash Assistance, despite sustained humanitarian efforts, substantial needs persist among the refugee population. Only 9 per cent of refugees can independently cover more than half of their basic needs, highlighting the ongoing necessity for humanitarian support. 

These findings align with other studies, such as ACTED's Winter Assessment and REACH's Rental Market Assessment, which underscore that most refugee households rely on unsustainable income sources, including humanitarian aid.

From September to December 2023, NRC received 371 requests for assistance through its hotline, specifically seeking hygiene and winterisation aid. Consequently, NRC is strategising to distribute hygiene and winterisation items to vulnerable refugees and host communities in the north region of Moldova before the next winter season. First, NRC aims to assess the feasibility of meeting the needs through cash or voucher assistance in markets local to the target population.

The objective of this multi-sectoral market assessment:

  • Understand whether the vendors in the north region of Moldova have the capacity to supply the hygiene and winterisation items/goods to the targeted project participants.
  • To determine if the markets in the targeted locations are accessible and safe for the NRC project participants, particularly those with diverse needs (e.g elderly people, people with mobility issues, etc).
  • Identify risks, mitigation measures and potential market impact related to NRC programmes.
  • Identify the appropriate transfer modality (Cash, paper voucher, E-voucher, or a combined modality).
  • Identify market support needs and factors that needs to be considered during the project design and implementation.