The massive influx of refugees brought about by the Ukraine crisis was not the only challenge the Moldovans are grappling with. It prompted security threats, shortages in basic services, inflation, and the rise of the cost of living.
Humanitarian aid is desperately needed in Moldova to help over 110,000 Ukrainian refugees, recorded in the UNHCR report, as well as Moldovans, who are unemployed and struggling with rising living costs.
World Vision’s cash-for-work program in Moldova, supported by Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), provide Ukrainians and host communities the opportunity to earn income through volunteer work at refugee centers.
Moldova is facing an energy crisis
Paying electricity bills is becoming more difficult for Ukrainian refugees and Moldovan families, especially during winter when temperature can drop very low.
Moldova’s electricity supply has been previously cut due to shortages resulting from the war in Ukraine, and its cost increased along with the price of gas.
The program gives the people who qualified for it the flexibility to use the cash they earn for their families’ necessities, such as food or payment for heating.
“The official data from Moldova’s National Bureau of Statistics stated that the average consumer prices have increased, thus, cash assistance will be of significant help to refugees,” emphasizes Viorica Bulat, World Vision’s Project Manager.
Cash empowers people to address their most urgent needs
Michel Gerges, the Cash, Voucher, Program and Food Project Manager said the cash-for-work intervention offers several benefits, “It can provide income support to refugees and host communities that have been affected by the war in Ukraine."
“The economic recession, which can help to reduce poverty, increase resilience, stimulate local economic activity and diminish unemployment”, he added.
Cash-for-work program boosts the activity of refugee centers
The program encourages Ukrainian refugees and Moldovans take up work at refugee centers, which enhances support services and community wellbeing.
“It helps promote social cohesion by involving the community and refugees in the design and implementation of the program to build trust and strengthen communities,” says Gerges.
Viorica Bulat oversees the project implementation and has observed improving results. “It supports the refugees and vulnerable host community to be involved in activities, heal from the stress and trauma, and earn income to pay for their essential needs.”
The project provides refugees and host families with programs on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), protection, mental health, and mental health, psycho-social support (MHPSS), cash for the winter period, and cash-for-work.
Story by Laurentia Jora, Communications Officer I Photos by Chris Lete and Eugene Combo