Support package German Development Minister visits the Republic of Moldova: solidarity with those extending solidarity to refugees
Development Minister Schulze said: “The people of Moldova have shown overwhelming support for the people of Ukraine. No other country has accepted more refugees relative to the size of its population. At the same time, the country itself is being strongly impacted by Russia’s aggression. Russia is also set on destabilising this former Soviet republic and stopping it from progressing with its pro-European reforms. But Moldova does not stand alone. I am here today to assure Moldova of Germany’s continued support. Our support is directed towards the refugees and at the same time to the local population.”
The Republic of Moldova has to date accepted 100,000 refugees, making it the country hosting the highest number of Ukrainian refugees per capita. Most of the refugees are living in host families who themselves have very little. The entire country experienced a loss of power supply in November 2022 following the bombing of Ukraine’s power system, showing just how closely linked the two countries are with each other. What is more, Russia is seeking to provoke an energy crisis by drastically reducing its supply of gas. The intention is to destabilise Moldova politically. Inflation stands at over 30 per cent. This is having a devastating impact on the political and economic situation.
The BMZ has responded by putting together a package of support for Moldova amounting to 149 million euros, of which seven million euros have been newly committed as part of the Minister’s visit. It includes measures to respond to the immediate crisis and to stabilise and develop the country over the long term. Last year, for example, over 40 educational establishments, hospitals and refugee centres in Moldova were refurbished with German support or received new equipment. At the same time, assistance and support facilities have been put in place for refugees and other vulnerable groups and refugees have been helped to enter the job market.
More funding will be made available to continue this work this year. Some of the seven million euros newly committed during the Minister’s visit will be used to fund advisors on crisis management and reform projects in public authorities in Moldova. The plan is to bring in experts with experience of dealing with the energy crisis, for example.
Moldova and Germany share a thirty-year history of development cooperation, which is aimed at helping the country in the rapprochement process with the EU. Cooperation focuses on economic development, municipal development and good governance. In light of the energy crisis, it will now also be extended to the energy sector.