The Government of The Republic of Moldova has made significant progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in particular in reducing poverty. Significant results have been achieved in promoting social reforms. The health insurance scheme recently introduced covers the most vulnerable segments of the population, including elderly people and children. A network of social assistants has been established for the entire country and is continuously developed and strengthened. The new Law on Social Support guarantees social assistance to the poorest people, shifting financial assistance from a category-based to a means-testing approach.
Progress has also been made on broad structural reforms over the past few years to set Moldova on a path to European integration, renewed international financial institution funding, and an environment more conducive to investment. Moldova has registered strong growth in recent years, peaking at 7.5% in 2005.
However, despite progress made against poverty, a large percentage of the population remains vulnerable. Poverty continues to affect traditionally vulnerable categories, such as the elderly, children, people with no education or professional skills, long-term unemployed and people with occasional jobs. It also has a location character - geographical disparities in poverty are persistent, whereby absolute poverty has increased in small towns and rural areas (compared to cities) where over 70% of population live. A large share of the population living in rural areas are vulnerable, as virtually no jobs are available, and subsistence agriculture is predominant. Children, particularly from rural areas, remain the most vulnerable and poorest category of population
The poverty phenomena leads to social exclusion of the most vulnerable categories, including children and their families, especially in the rural and remote areas. Social exclusion of the named categories will have a devastating impact in medium and long-term run. The social exclusion phenomenon is amplified by the current economic and financial crisis.
Core identified problems:
- Social exclusion of the most vulnerable families and their children, especially in the rural and remote areas
- Weak access to quality social assistance services, although there is improved availability compared to ‘90s
- Worsening of the social and economic conditions and wellbeing of the named categories due to the economic crisis and reduction in the incoming remittances from abroad and return of workers from abroad
At the moment, according to IOM (International Organization for Migration), approximately 400,000 Moldovans work abroad, many of them in the Russian Federation and Italy, which are the most preferred destinations. These workers send remittances back home to support their families and especially children. In the first quarter of 2009, according to the official statistical data of the National Bureau of Statistics, remittances declined by 30% which is huge if we take into account that the total remittances in 2008 were comparable to the GDP of the Republic of Moldova.
Under the named circumstances, and given all the above identified problems, it is important to underline that certain families lack the minimum resources, including materials, to sustain themselves and this leads to child abandonment, despite efforts in the recent years to minimize children institutionalization and placement in public boarding schools. The families need urgent support to avoid the institutionalization and reduce the pressures of the economic downturn.
That’s why the “Friends of Children’s” Association wants to start this project of sponsoring poor families in the villages. So organizations or individuals who are interested in supporting a family can do so with a monthly donation of €30. They can choose from a list, one or more of the families to help. At the end of the month, all the sponsors will receive an update on the family’s situation and how their donation has been used. It is important to note that each family will have individual plans drawn up by a social worker and the donation will benefit each family in the most appropriate way. For more information on this project of sponsoring a family, contact:
Thank you very much!
 Absolute poverty decreased from 30.2% in 2006 to 25.5% in 2007 and extreme poverty from 4.5% to 2.8% during the same period. Source: Child poverty report, 2008, NBS/UNICEF; Poverty and Policy Impact Report, 2007, Ministry of Economy and Trade
 the economy slowed down as of 2006 (4% and 3% growth rate registered in 2006 and 2007 respectively due to the combined effects of Russia's ban on imports of Moldovan wine and other agricultural products, a doubling of natural gas prices by Russia's Gazprom and the impact of climate change through the drought)
 Source: MET, Poverty and policy impact report, 2007