On Friday 3 June 2022, DRC’s Executive Director for Europe, Gerry Garvey, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Republic of Moldova, represented at the signing ceremony by General Secretary Serghei Diaconu. This formalises the agreement between the Government of Moldova and DRC to implement a project at the government-run Asylum Seeker Accommodation Centre located in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau.
Pursuant to this agreement in Moldova, DRC will work to improve and repair Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities, provide supplies to increase capacity of the reception centre by 110 people to 250, and conduct a range of activities to enhance the overall protection environment. Additionally, under DRC’s Emergency Unit’s Technical Assistance and Capacity Exchange (TACE) initiative, DRC will provide training and support to staff at the Asylum Seeker Accommodation Centre in Chisinau and help strengthen existing policies and procedures.
Moldova, neighbouring Ukraine’s southwestern border, has seen arrivals of over 500,000 Ukrainians since 24 February 2022, and with that, a spike in asylum applications. From 70 asylum applications in 2021, Moldova has this year received in excess of 7,000 applications. In addition to responding to the crisis and needs for emergency assistance, this has overwhelmed Moldova’s Bureau of Migration and Asylum – responsible for processing these applications and running the Accommodation Centre – and put pressure on limited resources. For this reason, an increase in capacity and improvement in conditions at the Accommodation Centre is critical, and will continue to benefit people on the move in Moldova in the coming years.
The agreement between DRC and the Government of Moldova follows shortly after DRC, led by its Emergency Unit, opened the Moldova Country Programme to effectively respond to the needs of Ukrainian refugees in neighbouring countries. Registration was finalised in May, allowing DRC Moldova to continue its work providing assistance through partnerships with local organisations, and by rolling out technical support for local actors through its Technical Support and Capacity Exchange (TACE) initiative.