On the 24th of February, the Russian armed forces started the war in Ukraine and launched their operations all over the country. The invasion has had a devastating impact on the Ukrainian population, destroying residential areas, health facilities and public infrastructure. Since then, in search of protection and safety, more than 942,000 people have crossed the border from Ukraine to Moldova. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 118,000 Ukrainian refugees were still in Moldova, at the end of September 2023. This crisis adds to the ongoing difficulties faced by Moldova, where nearly a quarter of the population lives below the national poverty line.
The economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the energy crisis, inflation, and the lack of reliable and quality services are making life difficult for the people of Moldova. Additionally, Moldova’s development is currently hindered by the ongoing conflict over the Russian-backed breakaway region of Transnistria, which has been frozen since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the persisting inequalities between the many diasporas living in the country.
The ‘PLACE’ Consortium, consisting of Acted, REACH, People in Need, and the Norwegian Refugee Council, with the financial support of the European Union, aims to provide emergency aid in Moldova to the most vulnerable war-affected populations fleeing Ukraine and to vulnerable Moldovans, to guarantee inclusion and reduce social tensions.
Galina is 47 years old and a mother of five. She lives with her husband and children in a two-room flat in Chisinau. Her eldest daughter is 18 and studies at a university in Romania. Her sons are four, three and two years old and her youngest daughter is only one year old.
At the moment, the family’s main income comes from her husband. At times, Galina works small part-time jobs, but even though her mother-in-law helps her with the children, most of her time is taken up with raising them.
It is not easy to feed such a big family, especially since a large part of the family’s income goes towards the treatment of two of the children who have problems with their feet. While the girl’s bones can be treated with vitamins and medication, the boy needs constant massage as his problem was discovered after he learned to walk.
There is no extra money in our family. Every leu (Moldovan currency) goes towards the children's treatment. We are very grateful for the financial help with the rent. It allows us to pay for our son's massage so that he does not grow up disabled. The state provides this kind of medical care, but one must wait more than six months. And we can't wait because the baby is growing, and we need to treat him now
The assistance provided by the PLACE Consortium, with the financial support of the European Union to rent an apartment, will help Galina’s family to reduce their financial burden and focus on the treatment of their children.
In the future, Galina hopes to get a job in a bakery. When the potential employer found out that Galina’s daughter was only a year old, he asked her to come back in six months when the girl was a bit older. As soon as Galina gets a job, her mother-in-law will look after the children.
Together with the partners, Acted is committed to helping families like Galina’s improve their housing and employment opportunities, as well as their access to health care, education and other services.