© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr
04. April 2022

Helvetas Supports Refugees in Moldova and Ukraine, and Helps Moldovan Host Families

© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr

Helvetas is continuing its work to help refugees in Moldova, and is stepping up its support for Moldovan host families. At the same time, Helvetas and its partner organizations are increasing their assistance to internally displaced persons throughout Ukraine.  

The war that has been ravaging Ukraine since February 24 has driven more than 3.8 million people into exile. An additional 2 million people are internally displaced in Ukraine, and often find themselves in precarious situations.

Moldova: Support for host families

Since the beginning of the conflict, Helvetas, the Swiss development cooperation and humanitarian aid organization, has been present in Moldova to provide support both to refugees and to the families who host them.

Our activities at border stations are focused on transporting refugees to the capital Chisinau (via minibuses with drivers), providing communication assistance (through SIM cards and charging stations for cell phones), and welcoming the most vulnerable people into heated tents – provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) – to offer them a safe, warm space for respite, as well as food and drinks.

Helvetas is continuing its operations by concentrating on Moldovan host families. An estimated 400,000 refugees fleeing the war have entered this small country of 2.6 million inhabitants, which is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Many Moldovan families have opened their homes to these refugees.

To support this solidarity movement, Helvetas, in partnership with the SDC and the World Food Program, provides financial aid to these families to improve their reception capacity. These vouchers make it possible to carry out small repairs to increase water storage capacity, replace windows, repair doors, or purchase new household appliances. The cash may also be used to pay water or electricity bills.

Helvetas will also engage in a labor market analysis process in Moldova to support the economic integration of Ukrainian refugees. This project will include both an assessment of the refugees' capacities and employment needs, as well as support to local Moldovan businesses for the creation of job opportunities. 

Ukraine: Support for internally displaced persons

While a significant portion of the Ukrainian population has been driven into exile, over two million others are internally displaced. Together with our partner organizations Acted and People In Need, we support internally displaced persons with cash so that they can immediately buy the basic necessities they need most. In addition, we provide financial assistance to local restaurants to accommodate the displaced. This aid to restaurants allows people who have been made vulnerable by the war to feed themselves while at the same time supporting local restaurants.

The great generosity of the Swiss population made it possible to set up these operations. But the ongoing war and its medium- and long-term consequences will require continuous support for the Ukrainian population and the host countries.

Further information:

Coordinator Media Relations
Katrin Hafner