UN refugee chief praises Moldova for opening the country to Ukrainians fleeing war


“The Moldovan people and government have shown remarkable solidarity with refugees since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began almost a year ago,” Filippo Grandi told media during his visit to the country.

“This support was visible from the first days and weeks of the war, when tens of thousands of refugees – mostly women and children – fled Ukraine and continues to this day.”

“Open houses”

Despite many pressing economic challenges and limited resources, the Moldovans “opened up their land and their homes,” the senior UN official continued.

In the past 11 months, nearly 750,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered and more than 102,000 have stayed, nearly half of whom are children.

“The government’s decision earlier this week to activate temporary protection is another concrete and tangible expression of continued and sustained solidarity with the Ukrainian people,” he said.

The UN refugee chief explained that the move provides refugees with a more secure legal status and paves the way for more sustainable planning and response.

“Temporary protection will help refugees find work, become self-reliant and will also enable them to contribute to their host communities until they can return home in safety and dignity.”

It also provides the framework for even longer-lasting access to education and other basic services, as well as stability during trauma and upheaval.

Reinforced support needed

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, is committed to supporting Moldova and deepening its cooperation on refugee inclusion, while mobilizing support for host families and communities.

Since the start of the refugee influx, Moldova has provided more than $100 million in aid and support.

“We will continue to invest in strengthening social protection systems in Moldova for both refugees and Moldovans,” assured Mr. Grandi.

“But it is imperative that the international community step up to provide renewed support for the refugee response and for the communities generously hosting refugees in Moldova.”

This means urgent and increased development investment in the country, as well as significant international efforts to support and grow the state’s economy, including boosting private sector investment that can provide sustainable opportunities for both Moldovans and refugees.

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