Additional support measures during the cold season for vulnerable Moldovans

(UN joint press release)

Chisinau, Moldova. On December 6, the Minister of Labour and Social Protection, Alexei Buzu, presented a new package of additional support measures for the population during the cold season. Thus, 67,711 beneficiaries of four vulnerable categories will receive a one-time payment of 3,000 or 5,000 lei, depending on the category, forming a total budget of 226 million lei for these support measures.

"I would like to thank our partners, who support us unconditionally and are always there to offer us financial support where it is most needed, namely to support the vulnerable citizens of Moldova. I am also extremely grateful to my colleagues from the frontline social protection institutions for their dedication and commitment to beneficiaries. They show altruism and perseverance in the most difficult times for citizens" has mentioned Alexei Buzu, Minister of Labour and Social Protection.

The cash assistance program for vulnerable Moldovans is led by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection. It is a continuation of the joint approach to supporting vulnerable populations in Moldova, a program launched in 2022.

"The support of the joint programming of the UN agencies and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection has a direct and immediate impact on the most vulnerable groups of persons during winter period to cope with high prices on energy and gas and meet their basic needs. When UN agencies join hands and work together as one, it ensures that our support effectively supports the delivery of the Government's agenda, leaving no one behind", reiterated Simon Springett, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in the Republic of Moldova.

The program's objectives are for vulnerable populations in Moldova to benefit from additional social assistance to meet their essential needs, connect financial support with social services and benefits, and strengthen the government's capacity to implement the "RESTART" reform agenda.

"As part of its winter 23/24 campaign, WFP is temporarily expanding its cash-assistance to the most vulnerable Moldovans, supporting them to cover their basic needs such as food and energy. In addition, WFP is working in partnership with key UN agencies to provide capacity strengthening to central and regional institutions to enhance the effectiveness of the social protection system and accelerating progress towards the reform agenda, with the goal of expanding access to quality social services and well targeted social cash-assistance across Moldova”, stated Katrien Ghoos, Representative and Country Director of the WFP office in Moldova.

The categories that will benefit from the one-time cash payment are:

  • 3,000 lei for 56,236 pensioners born before 1945 with a pension less than 3,000 lei
  • 5,000 lei for 3,019 families caring for and supervising children with severe disabilities
  • 5,000 lei for 7,195 families with individuals with disabilities enrolled in the "Personal Assistance" social service
  • 5,000 lei for 1,261 pregnant or breastfeeding women with children between 0 and 13 months, beneficiaries of social assistance

" As a UN agency dedicated to ensuring the rights and reproductive health of the population, a life free from violence, and securing social protection for the older persons, UNFPA stands by the Government of the Republic of Moldova during this challenging period. As part of the program and in line with the UNFPA mandate, we prioritize the specific needs of pregnant women, those who have given birth and have children aged 0-13 months, as well as the older persons facing various levels of vulnerability", emphasized Aliona Cristei, Program Analyst for Population and Development, UNFPA.

"The International Organization for Migration re-affirms its commitment to supporting the Government of the Republic of Moldova’s overall response to the Ukrainian crisis and in particular the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection’s ongoing reform of the national social protection system under the RESTART reform agenda. Under this collaborative effort, IOM will be providing cash assistance to vulnerable Moldovans households with adults and children with disabilities", mentioned Lars Johan Lönnback, Chief of IOM Mission in Moldova.

In parallel, Alexei Buzu announced additional support for the "Capacity Building of the National Social Protection System," consisting of a one-time exceptional payment to certain categories of social protection employees to motivate and support their dedication and performance.

"Not only kindness but also the strength of the Republic of Moldova is highlighted in how Moldovans take care of the most vulnerable. They take care of their fellow citizens, and with the same warmth, they have opened their hearts and homes to refugees seeking shelter and safety", concluded Francesca Bonelli, UNHCR Representative in Moldova.

With the support of various UN agencies, 9,751 employees from various social institutions will receive a salary increase ranging from 2,000 lei for auxiliary staff part-time to 5,000 lei for specialized and basic staff. Among them are employees of:

  • State Social Inspectorate
  • State Labor Inspectorate
  • National Employment Agency
  • National Center for Determining Disability and Work Capacity
  • Republican Center for Experimental Prosthetics, Orthopedics, and Rehabilitation
  • National House of Social Insurance
  • National Social Assistance Agency
  • 25 Public Institutions of the County Council
  • Temporary Refugee Accommodation Centres
  • Accommodation Centres for children, the older persons, and people with disabilities
  • Social assistants and workers, employees of social services
  • Specialized staff and employees of:
    • Territorial Social Assistance Structures
    • General Directorate for Child Rights Protection and General Directorate for Medical and Social Assistance in Chisinau
    • UTA Gagauzia
  • Professional parent assistants and parent-educators

"We know that poverty remains a significant concern, especially in rural areas. We have been dedicated to contributing to the national provision of the "Support for families with children" social service. More than 34 thousand children have been supported since 2022, and an additional 2800 children will receive monetary support of 4000 lei in the last months of 2023. It is an essential assistance to families with children at risk bolstering the resilience of parents and caregivers facing challenging situations, including those arising from energy vulnerability", declared Maha Damaj, UNICEF Country Representative in Moldova.

In addition, between October 2023 and February 2024, UNFPA and WFP will conduct trainings for trainers and representatives of national social protection institutions to strengthen capacity in thematic areas of social protection while UNICEF will support MLSP in strengthening the social assistance system, including the child protection system, related to the priorities of the RESTART reform and the capacity of staff to provide quality social services.

The programs are financed and implemented by the UN Agencies in Moldova: the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).


For more information, please contact: 

Riccardo Severi, Communications and Public Information Officer, IOM Moldova

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