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Otaci becomes a City of Solidarity: Municipality and UNHCR sign Memorandum of Cooperation

Otaci becomes a City of Solidarity: Municipality and UNHCR sign Memorandum of Cooperation

Otaci, 29 May 2024 – The Municipality of Otaci has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency in the Republic of Moldova, under the framework of “Cities of Solidarity”. This initiative aims to enhance support and integration for refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons within the local community. The occasion also marked the inauguration of Otaci’s first playground and a new sports facility, demonstrating the collaborative efforts of the Municipality of Otaci, UNHCR, and local organizations in their commitment to inclusivity and support for all residents. 

 

“Everyone is welcome here. This Memorandum of Cooperation is critical to us. UNHCR has identified these cities of solidarity, and I’m proud Otaci is part of this network. We understand the responsibility it comes with it. Signing this agreement highlights our long-standing collaboration in providing assistance and building community, but it also marks a new chapter in our relationshipdeclared the mayor of Otaci, Dmitrii Zavrotchii.   

 

The local authorities and community members of Otaci were among the first to respond to the refugee influx in the area. The Roma-led NGO Bahtalo Ker alongside the mayor’s office, established a volunteer center to support people crossing the border, providing them food, hot drinks, WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) facilities, warmth and free transportation services. 6% of Otaci’s population are refugees (approximately 450 refugees currently reside in the city), with increased support from UNHCR and its partners, until today Bahtalo Ker and the mayor’s office continue their efforts to assist refugees living in the community.  

 

The collaboration between local authorities and Bahtalo Ker exemplifies the kind of proactive and inclusive approach that makes a tangible difference in the lives of displaced individuals, fostering a sense of belonging and mutual support. Their contributions have, in fact, been instrumental in not only providing essential services like shelter, food, and hygiene facilities to refugees but also in creating a warm and welcoming environment for everyone” expressed UNHCR’s Representative a.i. in the Republic of Moldova, Betrand Blanc.  

 

Otaci is the second city in Moldova to join the network of Cities of Solidarity. Jointly with local and regional authorities, UNHCR is advocating for the protection and inclusion of refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, and host community members in urban and suburban areas. The initiative Cities of Solidarity in the Republic of Moldova has three key objectives: to enhance inclusion by improving access to essential rights and services, to build local capacity by providing authorities and civil society with the necessary tools to benefit both displaced populations and host communities, and to spark innovation by fostering creative solutions and best practices that can be replicated elsewhere.  

 

The Cities of Solidarity initiative has been successfully piloted in several other locations globally, such as Argentina, Chile and Mexico. Because of Moldova’s effective and commendable response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis, UNHCR decided to implement the initiative in the country to showcase good practices and support the adaptation of urban areas to refugee influx. 

 

For media inquiries 

Monica Vazquez 

[email protected] 

+373 609 44 339 

Music, Discussions, and Art: Moldova Holds “Amare Amala” Roma Culture Week

Music, Discussions, and Art: Moldova Holds “Amare Amala” Roma Culture Week

The Republic of Moldova will host theatre performances, discussions and vibrant cultural presentations as part of “Amare Amala: Roma Culture Week” from 8-13 April, which will end with a Roma music concert on Saturday. This series of events is dedicated to International Roma Day, marked annually on 8 April. The events aim to raise awareness of Roma culture and combat stereotypes and discrimination against this ethnic minority.

 

In the 2014 census of the population of the Republic of Moldova, 9,383 people declared themselves to be Roma. However, more recent estimates suggest that there are more than 27,000 Roma in the country, a number that is even higher after hundreds of Roma from Ukraine fled the war and sought refuge in the country. Yet Roma continues to face discrimination and misunderstanding, often dictated by a lack of knowledge of their rich traditions and culture.

 

At the initiative of the Roma Task Force, starting in 2023 has been organised, “Amare Amala: Roma Culture Week”, a series of events dedicated to 8 April. Last year, the week of events organised at the national level saw the participation of more than 1500 people, and the organisers aim to increase this number for this edition, thus contributing to raising awareness of Roma traditions, culture and history, and combating discrimination against this community. 

Marin Alla, director of the “Roma Voice” Coalition – a coalition of 38 Roma organizations, says: “The Roma community in Moldova is not a burden. The country that has Roma is a rich, free, and independent country. The Roma community in Moldova love the land they were born in and cannot sell it.”

The events organized throughout the Roma week offer the opportunity for everyone to discover the uniqueness of these people through the universal language of the arts. Marco Buono, Head of Mission of INTERSOS Moldova, one of the main organizers of the “Amare Amala” events, declared: “At INTERSOS, we believe that recognizing and celebrating International Roma Day empowers Romani individuals and communities by affirming their identity, dignity, and rights. Through organizing this musical event dedicated to Roma culture, we aim to renew our commitment to promoting the rights and well-being of Romani people and to contribute to raising awareness among the general public about the challenges and discrimination faced by Romani communities.”

 

This year’s Amare Amala Week includes for the first time nationwide educational activities in gymnasiums, high schools and universities. This is possible thanks to the collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova. “In the week dedicated to Roma culture, we express our gratitude to this community and pay tribute to their contribution to the development of our society. We are committed to working together to promote Roma rights, culture and education, thus building a more inclusive future for all members of this community.”, said the Minister Dan Perciun, Educational institutions will take the initiative to organize these activities, with support from national and international organizations, aimed at increasing acceptance and inclusion of Roma children.

 

The series of events also includes a two-day regional conference organized by the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to promote the inclusion of Roma people in the refugee response in Moldova and to share good practices from other countries hosting Ukrainian refugees. This is the first regional event dedicated to discussing Roma inclusion, and it will bring together representatives and Roma mediators from five European countries. Francesca Bonelli, Representative of UNHCR Moldova, said: “Embracing diversity means recognising the beauty of our differences and the strength in our unity. The Roma Culture Week is therefore an excellent opportunity for us not only to honour diversity but also to cultivate a society where every individual can thrive. Following the principle of leaving no one behind, UNHCR supports and empowers Roma refugees and their communities by ensuring their access to services and fostering social cohesion.

 

“Amare Amala: Roma Culture Week” this year will conclude with a concert at the “Mihai Eminescu” National Theatre, performed by the Moldovan National Youth Orchestra,on 13 April. More than 30 young musicians will perform under the baton of Andriano Marian, the famous conductor from the Republic of Moldova, who is also of Roma ethnicity, featuring symphonic versions of Roma culture songs from Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Spain and Portugal. Joining the orchestra will be soloists Ana Raiu, Aurel Chirtoaca, Felicia Dunaf and Misha Grossu, Mihai Duminică and Ionuț Ciocanu.

 

The concert will be preceded by an activity fair for children and adults from 1:00 pm to 5.30 pm, where visitors will be able to participate in interactive games, face painting, drawing, quiz games and more. More details can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/394735336811153

 

The Roma week events are free of charge, thanks to the generous support of the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development, the European Union, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNHCR, the Norwegian Refugee Council and the International Organization for Migration.

 

Jacopo Caridi, NRC Country Director, said: “It is an honour for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to participate for the second consecutive year in the celebration of International Roma Week in Moldova. Around the world, NRC prioritizes assisting conflict-displaced and vulnerable communities, such as the Roma in Moldova. In partnership with the local NGO ROMNI, we helped conflict-displaced people from the Roma community, ensuring access to legal information and participation in protection activities to promote their culture, enhance integration, and avoid discrimination.”

 

Lars Johan Lönnback, IOM Moldova’s Chief of Mission, has declared: ”IOM stands in solidarity with Roma communities, supporting their right to equality and full participation in all aspects of society. The Rome Culture Week is an important initiative that reminds us how crucial respect for diversity, the fight against all forms of discrimination, including hate speech, and common work for a just development of the country. Since 2022, IOM in the Republic of Moldova, thanks to the support of the donor community, has provided substantial assistance to Roma refugees displaced from Ukraine to prevent human trafficking and combat gender-based violence.”

 

All events planned for 8-13 April can be found in the joint events calendar created by the organizers.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova and UNHCR strengthen cooperation on supporting refugees and host communities affected by the conflict in Ukraine

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova and UNHCR strengthen cooperation on supporting refugees and host communities affected by the conflict in Ukraine

Chisinau, 10 April 2024. Minister of Interior Adrian Efros met with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency representative in the Republic of Moldova, Francesca Bonelli, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to continue the collaboration between the two institutions.

During the encounter, the officials discussed the current situation of refugees in the Republic of Moldova, with a focus on the measures needed to ensure their appropriate protection and assistance. The discussions centered around ensuring these individuals receive the necessary services, underscoring the vital role of international cooperation and collaboration with other countries and organizations.

Furthermore, the need to improve legal and policy frameworks for the protection of refugees and to promote sustainable solutions for their integration into local communities was also addressed. 

The Memorandum sets the stage for a comprehensive partnership, covering areas such as refugee assistance and protection, information management, emergency preparedness, and response coordination, alongside institutional capacity building. 

Key priorities include devising medium and long-term assistance programs to seamlessly integrate displaced persons from Ukraine into local communities, facilitating voluntary repatriation programs with the assistance of UNHCR and IOM, and bolstering infrastructure and capacities for refugee reception and protection. 

“UNHCR’s collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs is key to keep providing support to refugees and the Moldovans who warmly host them, to integrate them into the society, and we hope to equip them with all means necessary to make this possible”, said Francesca Bonelli. 

“The signing of this memorandum marks an important step in strengthening the partnership between our institutions and in supporting those affected by the conflict in Ukraine”, stressed Minister Adrian Efros. 

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and UNHCR have shown their openness to continue working together to address the urgent needs of refugees and to promote their social and economic inclusion in Moldova.

A series of films about the experience of forced displacement and the lives of refugees was presented at the first Short Film Festival in Moldova

A series of films about the experience of forced displacement and the lives of refugees was presented at the first Short Film Festival in Moldova

Nearly 40 filmmakers from the Republic of Moldova participated in the first short film festival in our country. Four of their creations, selected by the festival’s jury, were awarded professional Sony cameras. 

Launched in October 2023 by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, the Association of Creative Companies of Moldova (COR) and USM’s Centre for Production and Technologies for Film, Gaming and New Media Industries, Mediacor, “One Minute Festival: On the Move” compiled theory with practice. For 2 weeks, all those who wanted to create a short film could sign up for courses and masterclasses with experts from the film and storytelling industry. In total, the filmmaking workshops brought together over 300 participants. 

Festival topics focused on forced displacement, refugee stories, hope away from home in the social-political context of recent years. After the theoretical part, participants had a few months to create their films and register them for the competition. 

On 5 April 2024, the closing event took place at Mediacor, where 49 short films were presented and the award ceremony for the four best short films according to the jury took place: 

1st place: Ceban Dmitrii, “Interdiction” 

2nd place: Nicolae Butuc, “Separation” 

3rd place: Rotaru Liviu, “There will be everything” 

With global forced displacement at a record high of over 108.4 million people, promoting inclusion and empathy is crucial and the creative industry has a key role to play as it can be a major driver of change. The One Minute: On the Move Festival has succeeded in giving voice to displaced people and refugee stories and creating a platform to facilitate the expression and exchange of ideas. 

  

Read more: 

  

  About the festival: https://www.1minfilms.md/ 

  About UNHCR Moldova: https://www.unhcr.org/md/ 

  About Mediacor: https://www.mediacor.md/ 

  About COR: http://cor.md/ 

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One minute film festival: premiere screening

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One minute film festival: premiere screening

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One minute film festival: premiere screening

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One minute film festival: premiere screening

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One minute film festival: premiere screening

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One minute film festival: premiere screening

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One Minute Film Festival: Premiere Screening in Chisinau, The Republic of Moldova

 

For questions, please contact: 

Monica Vazquez 

[email protected] 

UNHCR External Relations Officer 

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova 

Moldova’s Refugee Response Plan for 2024: international solidarity and joint achievements 

Moldova’s Refugee Response Plan for 2024: international solidarity and joint achievements 

Chișinău, 15 February 2024. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in collaboration with the Republic of Moldova government, launched the 2024 Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP), aiming to assist 90,000 refugees and 35,500 vulnerable Moldovans with USD 303 million. Amid the ongoing full-scale war in Ukraine, where hundreds of thousands sought refuge in Moldova since February 24, 2022, continued support remains essential. 

In a display of international cooperation and solidarity, authorities at all levels, the United Nations (UN), international and national non-governmental organizations (INGOs and NGOs), the private sector, academia and local civil society have partnered under the Refugee Response Plan for the Ukraine situation since February 2022. The document guides the humanitarian efforts, states the needs, and the financial support required. Moldova’s refugee response, now entering its third year, stands out as a role model, thanks to the effective and humane leadership of the government of the Republic of Moldova, the solidarity of Moldovans, and continuous international support.

“Thanks to the Government of the Republic of Moldova, the UN, humanitarian partners, and the people who collaborated and contributed to the elaboration of the Refugee Response Plan for the year 2024. This plan is the basis of our joint work in the country and is the only document in the region that targets refugees and locals alike. With the war in Ukraine still decimating lives and displacing people, coordinating efforts is essential to ensure assistance reaches those who need it most “, said Francesca Bonelli, UNHCR Moldova representative.
 

As we enter the third year of the Refugee Response in Moldova, recognizing joint achievements is crucial. In 2023, we reached with assistance nearly 160,000 individuals, including 51,000 vulnerable Moldovans. In 2023, 46,000 hosting family members, alongside over 86,000 refugees received cash assistance, injecting over 123,000,000 USD into the Moldovan economy. 

“The United States continues to be impressed by the nationwide response to the refugee situation and Moldova’s true hospitality. The United States has provided nearly $118 million to support refugees in Moldova – and their host communities – since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine “, declared Kent  Logsdon, United Stated Ambassador in the Republic of Moldova.

Another key achievement was the activating of Temporary Protection for the Ukrainian refugees. RRP partners worked closely with the government for a successful implementation, resulting in almost 30,000 refugees with TP status.

“Amid uncertainty, Moldova remains committed to defending human rights and democracy. We are confident that this year’s Refugee Response Plan will be guided by high-level collaboration and working shoulder to shoulder to achieve better results than last year”, stated Alexei Buzu, the Minister of Labor and Social Protection. 

Close collaboration with national and local civil society organizations led to a surge in their participation in the 2024 RRP, from two Moldovan NGOs in 2022 to 46 out of 82 total partners. 

The 2024 Refugee Response Plan focuses on key priorities. It aims to continue assisting individuals in obtaining legal status, particularly Temporary Protection prioritizes providing life-saving support for vulnerable individuals and enhancing their socio-economic inclusion, addressing barriers in accessing jobs, education, and healthcare. Additionally, it aims to promote social cohesion between refugees and host communities, preserving a welcoming and supportive environment. The plan also includes support for government authorities at all levels to enhance emergency preparedness, building resilience against future shocks caused by forced displacement.

 

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Moldova's Refugee Response Plan for 2024: international solidarity and joint achievements 

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Moldova's Refugee Response Plan for 2024: international solidarity and joint achievements 

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Moldova's Refugee Response Plan for 2024: international solidarity and joint achievements 

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Moldova's Refugee Response Plan for 2024: international solidarity and joint achievements

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Moldova's Refugee Response Plan for 2024: international solidarity and joint achievements 

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Moldova's Refugee Response Plan for 2024: international solidarity and joint achievements 

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Moldova's Refugee Response Plan for 2024: international solidarity and joint achievements 

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Moldova's Refugee Response Plan for 2024: international solidarity and joint achievements 

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Moldova's Refugee Response Plan for 2024: international solidarity and joint achievements 

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Moldova's Refugee Response Plan for 2024: international solidarity and joint achievements 

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Olesea Shevchenko, Ukrainian Opera singer, and the “Songs for Soul” choir enchant with their rendition of ‘Chervona Kalyna,’ a Ukrainian anthem of strength and national pride, at the Refugee Response Plan Launch 2024

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Olesea Shevchenko (left), Ukrainian Opera singer, and the “Songs for Soul” choir enchant with their rendition of ‘Chervona Kalyna,’ a Ukrainian anthem of strength and national pride, at the Refugee Response Plan Launch 2024

 

As Moldova transitions from the emergency phase to an inclusion approach, the 2024 RRP emphasizes the need for continued international solidarity and close coordination to ensure a smooth evolution from the emergency to a sustainable inclusion, that builds a stronger Moldova for all. 

Relevant links:

For media inquiries, please contact: 
Monica Vazquez
[email protected]
External Relations Officer, UNHCR
Chisinau, The Republic of Moldova  

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, commends the Republic of Moldova’s commitment to safeguarding refugees and urges increased support for both refugees and the communities hosting them

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, commends the Republic of Moldova’s commitment to safeguarding refugees and urges increased support for both refugees and the communities hosting them

(Chisinau, 19 January 2024): During his two-day visit to the Republic of Moldova, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, commended the commitment of the government of the Republic of Moldova and its people in protecting and assisting refugees from Ukraine seeking safety in the country. This acknowledgement took place during a meeting with the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees conducted his third official visit to the country on the 18th and 19th of January.

The President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, expressed her gratitude for the support provided by UNHCR in managing the humanitarian crisis following the onset of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

The President mentioned that despite limited resources, the Republic of Moldova has firmly demonstrated solidarity with Ukrainian citizens seeking refuge in the country. As the war in the neighbouring country persists, the head of state reiterated the commitment to providing temporary protection for refugees in accordance with European standards.

“For nearly two years, the government and people of Moldova have shown remarkable courage, determination, and warmth in welcoming, protecting, and assisting refugees from Ukraine. They are an example to the world. Despite the strong global support received, the current situation demands an even greater level of solidarity from the international community, matching Moldova’s unwavering commitment. I appeal for much more support – humanitarian, development and bilateral – for refugees of course, but equally for Moldova and Moldovans.” Expressed Filippo Grandi.

The Republic of Moldova, both its people and government, have played a crucial role in providing a secure environment for those displaced by the war. Beyond warmly welcoming refugees, Moldova has taken significant legislative measures, granting temporary protection to Ukrainians and with-it ensuring access to services in the country.

Furthermore, Moldova actively engaged in the Global Refugee Forum, demonstrating its commitment by making nine pledges to support refugees. Its exemplary efforts have earned international recognition, showcasing Moldova as a positive example, even among larger nations. These commitments encompass a broad spectrum, emphasizing refugee inclusion, safeguarding child rights, promoting gender equality, mitigating the risk of gender-based violence, and ensuring the delivery of comprehensive services for refugee survivors.

Earlier this week UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, asked for continued international support for the Ukraine Situation Refugee Response Plan (RRP) to enable providing much-needed assistance for Refugees from Ukraine seeking safety in neighbouring countries including the Republic of Moldova.

During his visit, the High Commissioner Filippo Grandi, joined by UNHCR’s Regional Director for Europe, Philippe Leclerc, and UNHCR’s Representative to the Republic of Moldova, Francesca Bonelli; met with Moldova’s Minister of Labour and Social Protection, Alexei Buzu at Centrul de plasament pentru Persoane Vârstnice și Persoane cu Dizabilități. The High Commissioner also met with Minister of Internal Affairs Adrian Efros at UNHCR’s registration centre. Partner organizations CRS and CDA provided updates on operations, including UNHCR’s cash assistance program and legal support for refugees.

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The High Commissioner also joined a discussion with the international community and the World Bank, and visited community initiatives and local infrastructures in Palanca. UNHCR has been actively partnering with local authorities hosting refugees to enhance services for both the refugee population and the host communities.

 

 

Note to editors

UNHCR in Moldova has been supporting government-led efforts to provide protection and support to refugees since establishing a presence in the country in 1997.  UNHCR significantly expanded its operations in the country in late February 2022 in response to the arrival of refugees from Ukraine and joined the Government of Moldova in co-leading the interagency humanitarian response aligned with the Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP) for the Ukraine Situation.

 

Key figures about the refugee response in the Republic of Moldova

  • More than 126,000 refugees received cash assistance since 24 February 2022 (over USD 146M disbursed to refugees)
  • Around 177,000 refugees have been supported with legal assistance since 24 February 2022
  • Around 2,300 refugees are now hosted in 44 refugee accommodation centres supported by UNHCR, while others live in host communities.
  • Ten Community Centers are operational in the country, providing safe spaces and activities for refugees and Moldovans alike. These centers are pivotal in facilitating community engagement and support, embodying a commitment to connectivity and empowerment.

 

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UNHCR is grateful to the Kingdom of Norway for contributions to operations in the Republic of Moldova

UNHCR is grateful to the Kingdom of Norway for contributions to operations in the Republic of Moldova

Chişinău 18th January 2024. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, warmly welcomes the generous contribution of NOK 35,000,000 (EUR 3,092,503) from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. These funds will enable UNHCR to continue supporting the Government of Moldova in ensuring access to temporary protection, protection services, and psychosocial support. In addition to ensuring refugees’ basic needs are met through cash assistance for the most vulnerable refugees.

 

This contribution will enhance UNHCR’s support to the Government of the Republic of Moldova in safeguarding the rights of refugees. It involves providing guidance, technical assistance, and capacity building for national authorities. Furthermore, it will empower Moldovan authorities and UNHCR to expand outreach and information-sharing initiatives with refugees. The aim is to ensure that refugees not only secure legal status in Moldova but also have the means to access services and employment. This approach fosters improved self-reliance among refugees, facilitating their better integration into local communities and enhancing their ability to contribute meaningfully.

It will also go towards supporting refugees with multi-purpose cash assistance to ensure their domestic and most urgent needs are met safely, securely, and dignifiedly. The UNHCR’s Cash Assistance program supports refugees by providing them with financial resources and flexibility to meet their diverse needs. It empowers refugees to decide based on their priorities, fostering dignity and autonomy. This approach not only addresses the unique challenges faced by displaced populations but also stimulates local economies by encouraging refugees to engage in local markets.

“For decades, Norway has made important contributions to refugees, including by providing substantive support to UNHCR’s global programmes. UNHCR is grateful for the strong partnership and cooperation with Norway in supporting the protection of the high number of refugees around the world and in Moldova.” stated Francesca Bonelli, UNHCR Representative in Moldova.

Moldova has received more refugee arrivals from Ukraine per capita than any other country in the region, one for every three Moldovan citizens, since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Over 120,693 refugees from Ukraine now remain in Moldova, the vast majority of whom are women, children, and older people.

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Further information for journalists

UNHCR in Moldova has been supporting government-led efforts to provide protection and support to refugees since establishing a presence in the country in 1997. UNHCR significantly expanded its operations in the country in late February 2022 in response to the arrival of refugees from Ukraine and joined the Government of Moldova in co-leading the interagency humanitarian response aligned with the Regional Response Plan (RRP) for the Ukraine Situation.

Key figures about the refugee response in the Republic of Moldova:

  • More than 126,000 refugees received cash assistance since 24 February 2022 (over USD 146M disbursed to refugees)
  • Around 177,000 refugees have been supported with legal assistance since 24 February 2022
  • Around 2,300 refugees are now hosted in 44 refugee accommodation centres supported by UNHCR.
The Republic of Moldova leads the 2023 Global Refugee Forum with nine pledges, focusing on refugee inclusion, child rights, gender equality, education, and ending statelessness.

The Republic of Moldova leads the 2023 Global Refugee Forum with nine pledges, focusing on refugee inclusion, child rights, gender equality, education, and ending statelessness.

Chisinau 14 December 2023 –The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) applauds the active involvement of the Republic of Moldova in the 2023 Global Refugee Forum. Minister Adrian Efros, Minister of Internal Affairs, and Minister Alexei Buzu, Minister of Labour and Social Protection, joined and addressed the forum in different events. Additionally, Ms. Irene Basiul from the National Congress of Ukrainians of Moldova and Ms. Elena Sirbu from the Roma Women Platform ROMNI, representing Moldovan civil society, also participated in the forum sharing their experience.

The Republic of Moldova is committing to nine pledges with a focus on refugee inclusion, safeguarding child rights, promoting gender equality, mitigating the risk of Gender-Based Violence, and delivering comprehensive services for refugee survivors.

” The refugee response brought together partners, organizations, and the government to collaborate seamlessly. Now is not the time to do less for refugees. In Moldova, we are driven by a strong political commitment to effect positive change on gender issues. While making strides in promoting gender equality, we recognize it is time to address gender-based violence.” Said Minister Buzu addressing the Gender Equality and Gender-Based Violence discussion panel.

The government has vowed to join the Global Alliance to End Statelessness. Furthermore, the government is dedicated to guaranteeing full enrolment and access to quality, inclusive education for all refugee children within the Moldovan education system.

“Ensuring safe stay and access to rights and services for refugees is a priority in our country. It is essential to safeguard the rights of those who sought temporary protection in the Republic of Moldova, and to collectively work for durable solutions.” Said Minister Efros addressing the session on the Ukraine Situation.

Additionally, the Municipality of Straseni is pledging to facilitate the socio-economic inclusion of refugees into their community, and the United Nations Country team has also reinforced their commitment to refugees.

The Republic of Moldova continues to present a remarkable example.” Said Francesca Bonelli UNHCR Representative “Since the 24th of February, the country took brave strides in creating a safe and welcoming environment for refugees. The Moldovan example is worthy to be supported, appreciated, and followed.

The Global Refugee Forum 2023 will take place from 13 to 15 December at the Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland, with side events held in other locations. The 2023 Forum is co-convened by five States – Colombia, France, Japan, Jordan and Uganda, and co-hosted by the Government of Switzerland and UNHCR.

Held every four years, the Forum is the world’s largest international gathering on refugees. It is designed to support the practical implementation of the objectives set out in the Global Compact on Refugees: Ease pressures on host countries, enhance refugee self-reliance, increase access to third-country solutions and improve conditions in countries of origin. It provides the opportunity for States and stakeholders to announce concrete pledges and contributions, highlight progress made, share good practices, and take stock of the challenges and opportunities ahead.

For detailed information about the pledges of the Republic of Moldova, visit the Pledges and Contributions dashboard

 

Switzerland. High-level event on financial support for refugee-hosting middle-income countries at the Global Refugee Forum 2023

The Republic of Moldova leads the 2023 Global Refugee Forum with nine pledges, focusing on refugee inclusion, child rights, gender equality, education, and ending statelessness.

Switzerland. High-level event on financial support for refugee-hosting middle-income countries at the Global Refugee Forum 2023

The Republic of Moldova leads the 2023 Global Refugee Forum with nine pledges, focusing on refugee inclusion, child rights, gender equality, education, and ending statelessness.

Switzerland. High-level event on the regional response to refugees from Ukraine at the Global Refugee Forum 2023

The Republic of Moldova leads the 2023 Global Refugee Forum with nine pledges, focusing on refugee inclusion, child rights, gender equality, education, and ending statelessness.

Switzerland. High-level event on the regional response to refugees from Ukraine at the Global Refugee Forum 2023

The Republic of Moldova leads the 2023 Global Refugee Forum with nine pledges, focusing on refugee inclusion, child rights, gender equality, education, and ending statelessness.

Switzerland. High-level event on the regional response to refugees from Ukraine at the Global Refugee Forum 2023

The Republic of Moldova leads the 2023 Global Refugee Forum with nine pledges, focusing on refugee inclusion, child rights, gender equality, education, and ending statelessness.

UNHCR Regional Director for Europe concerned about consequences of possible underfunding for those impacted by ongoing war in Ukraine in the coming year

UNHCR Regional Director for Europe concerned about consequences of possible underfunding for those impacted by ongoing war in Ukraine in the coming year

During a two-week mission to the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Poland, UNHCR Regional Director for Europe witnessed the conditions across the region and appealed for urgent renewed support for the coming year, to enable UNHCR to respond to the needs of those impacted by the ongoing full-scale war in Ukraine.

UNHCR’s Regional Director for Europe, Philippe Leclerc, spent the past two weeks witnessing the situation of Ukrainian refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and war-affected

communities in Ukraine and in the neighbouring Republic of Moldova and Poland. Some 6.3 million refugees from Ukraine remain uprooted from their homes, while 3.7 million people remain internally displaced in Ukraine.

“This past fortnight has been extremely eye-opening. Despite the outpouring of solidarity and generosity we witnessed across Europe following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago, there are significant challenges which remain for refugees as well as those in Ukraine impacted by the ongoing full-scale war,” said Leclerc.

In Moldova, the country hosting the highest number of refugees from Ukraine per capita, Leclerc met with the Moldovan authorities and expressed his gratitude for the continued solidarity and generosity shown to refugees from Ukraine, despite significant national challenges. He also met with refugee children and youth receiving support through UNHCR and partners, visited two of the Community Centres that promote inclusion and diversity in the country, and witnessed the impact of cash assistance on improving the daily lives of refugees and locals alike.

“So far this year, UNHCR has supported almost 950,000 people in Ukraine and neighbouring countries hosting refugees with cash assistance. This is essential in supporting national systems, and in ensuring that the most vulnerable can meet their basic needs with dignity,” said Leclerc.

From Moldova, Leclerc travelled to Ukraine where he met with Ukrainian authorities and visited Odesa, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro and Kyiv regions which have been deeply impacted by the full-scale war, continuous shelling and destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure. In 2023 so far, UNHCR in Ukraine and partners have reached more than 2.4 million people with protection services like free legal aid and psychosocial support, cash and in-kind assistance, emergency shelter materials and house and collective centre repairs.

In Kryvyi Rih, Leclerc met with internally displaced people who had been forced to leave their homes. 61-year-old Olha Myronova was forced to flee her home in Bahmut earlier this year, having spent months in her basement hiding from shelling. Olha received cash assistance and is waiting to receive a winterization top-up to help her through the harsh winter months.

Leclerc concluded his visit to the region in Poland, where he met with UNHCR partners, regional and local authorities in the city of Lublin, and refugees at a shelter run by a local foundation. He also visited a job fair in Lublin supported by UNHCR and partners. This is part of major ongoing efforts to foster the inclusion of refugees in the labour market, providing them with the opportunity to meet with employers in Poland directly. To date, some 42 per cent of refugees from Ukraine across neighbouring countries have managed to secure employment.

However, the vast majority have continued to express the desire to return once conditions are safe to do so, among them many vulnerable people. Irina, a 55-year-old refugee from Ukraine currently hosted in Poland, emphasized that “while we appreciate very much the support provided to us…we are keen to return and reunite with our families as soon as the war will be over. We appreciate the hospitality of Poland a lot, but home is home.”

As we approach the end of 2023, UNHCR in Ukraine is just two-thirds funded, and some 74 per cent funded in the neighbouring countries. UNHCR’s financial requirements for the Ukraine Situation in 2024 amount to USD 993 million, including Ukraine with a budget of USD 599 million.

“I’m deeply concerned that if we don’t see renewed support from the international community for the Ukraine situation, we may be forced to cut essential activities. Almost two years into the devastating full-scale war in Ukraine, humanitarian needs remain high. We cannot forget those forced to flee Ukraine, or those in Ukraine who need our support” added Leclerc.