Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe with the national poverty rate standing at 11.4 per cent. The frozen conflict in Transnistria contributes to a sustained and persistent vulnerability of large sections of the population. Due to grinding poverty and high levels of unemployment, some 836,000 people out of the population of 3.55 million work abroad. 6 per cent of the population experience absolute poverty and go hungry daily, spending less than CHF 2.5 per day. Teenage children who are left in the care of their grandparents, while parents work abroad, often fall victim to drug dealers, and experience violence and abuse. Human trafficking is widespread. HIV prevalence rate is 56 per 100,000 which remains among the highest in the region.
Moldova Red Cross requires significant organizational support and strengthening in order to step up their role in addressing these challenges. Capacity building both at headquarter and branch level is of utmost importance, so that the National Society and its staff can implement the prioritized activities. Creating and training disaster response teams in all regions vulnerable to emergencies is a priority for the near future, as well as developing first aid, preventing HIV, and supporting older people and the poorest population of Moldova.
The IFRC is connecting Moldova Red Cross with possible partners inside and outside of the Movement. The Norwegian Red Cross is developing twinning cooperation with three branches in Moldova - Bender, Chisinau and Criuleni. The Turkish Red Crescent provides in-kind support to vulnerable people living in Moldova, mainly through the distribution of food parcels in cooperation with TIKA and the Turkish Embassy in Moldova and Moldova Red Cross. The ICRC is supporting the Moldova Red Cross with first aid development and dissemination of humanitarian values in two branches of Beltsi and Benderi.
Austrian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Belarus and Swiss Red Cross are currently implementing projects in Moldova with nonRed Cross organizations.