DRC has been operational in Moldova since mid-2022, when its presence was established as part of the emergency response to displacement caused by the war in Ukraine. Based out of Chisinau, DRC works at key locations in the country - primarily at border crossing points – providing humanitarian assistance and support to Ukrainian refugees and the communities hosting them.
Moldova has seen a large influx of refugees crossing into the country from southern Ukraine. It is, however, anticipated that Moldova will remain a transit country with ongoing pendular movements, and with the cross-border movement trends tied to the evolution of the conflict in Ukraine.
Harsh winter conditions in Moldova present significant humanitarian needs and challenges among the most vulnerable refugees, third country nationals and the local communities hosting the displaced.
Core sectors Moldova
Source: | UNHCR
Infographics: DRC Ukraine Crisis Response and a Summary of Achievements in Europe 2022-23
16 Mar 2023
Why we are there
Refugees in Moldova are vulnerable and with needs believed to be largely unaddressed. There are significant protection gaps related not least to a lack of documentation and data on specific needs, vulnerabilities, and risks among refugees who are primarily women and children from Ukraine.
Only a small group of refugees reside in Refugee Accommodation Centers (RAC) with access to basic services and support. Little is known of refugees living in host communities and informal reception centres.
There are also concerns regarding the ability for refugees and other vulnerable groups to reach assistance in rural areas, especially for children due to the concentration of services in the capital, the high rate of informal payments, and the discrimination of some population groups.
What we do
DRC started operations in Moldova early 2022 and has been working with local partners, academia and national duty bearers in the capital Chisinau, and in border areas such as Balti, Ialoveni, Straseni and Calarasi to where most refugees are arriving from Ukraine.
From the onset, DRC's approach has been to train and improve the capacity of local civil society organisations, and support their reorientation towards provision of humanitarian assistance.
The diverse needs, priorities and preferences of the affected population and local Moldovan communities is what guides DRC support. Working with local partners and tailoring activities to locally defined needs strengthens community engagement and ensures meaningful community participation.
The interventions in Moldova help build resilience and capacity to cope with shocks from seasonal and climatic challenges and in any potential crisis in the future.
DRC in Moldova supports delivery of humanitarian aid within three sectors, namely Protection, Economic Recovery, and Camp Coordination & Camp Management.
DRC builds capacity to identify vulnerable cases and facilitate referrals to other agencies and services providers. Among the most vulnerable are unaccompanied and separated children, families with children, single mothers, pregnant and lactating women, babies, infants, persons with disability, elderly, persons with health conditions, suspected victims of trafficking and victims of sexual and gender-based violence.
Tangible interventions on the ground help beneficiaries access their rights and relevant services. Such services and needs can range from adequate shelter and accommodation, registration, and legal assistance - to medical care, psychosocial support, social services, transportation, food, and non-food items.
Provision of psychosocial support, and access to accurate, reliable and timely information, as well as referrals to other specialist agencies/services, protection by presence, dedicated case management and follow-up can greatly reduce distress in a constantly unsecure situation.
General basic needs of the refugee population are currently covered by several actors involved in multipurpose cash assistance; however, doubts exist as to how long this assistance will last. Refugees, the host population and other people of concerns have seen their purchase rate decrease by a third with the rampant inflation, employment opportunities are limited with the situation creating a potential cause for tensions between the refugee and host community
Shelter & Settlements
DRC in Moldova works to address needs of refugees residing in informal refugee asylum centers, as well among vulnerable host community members, asylum seekers and ethnic minorities.
Targeted infrastructure interventions help improve safety and living conditions. These include small-scale site upgrades around critical shelter as well as water and sanitation ensure standards adapting to winterization. These activities have a culture sensitive approach and a focus on safeguarding children and creating access for people with specific needs.
Working in collaboration with
Novo Nordisk Foundation
Country Director for Poland, Moldova & Romania