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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

Moldova: cash assistance helps Ukrainian refugees meet their needs in dignity

The war in Ukraine has spiralled into a fully-fledged humanitarian catastrophe. More than 14 million people have been forced to leave their homes, of which 7.7 million have crossed the border to neighbouring countries, including the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. The majority of those fleeing Ukraine are women and children.

Thanks to EU humanitarian funding, Caritas Czech Republic is supporting them with cash assistance. The financial support of 2,200 Moldovan lei (around €112) per family member helps them meet their basic needs, restore a sense of normalcy and become more resilient.

Ludmila sitting at a table while writing on a document
© Caritas Czech Republic, 2022

Since 28 February 2022, the European Commission has allocated €348 million for humanitarian aid to help civilians affected by the war in Ukraine. This includes €13 million to support displaced people from Ukraine who found refuge in Moldova.

Small support with a significant impact

Ludmila from Odessa is accommodated in Comrat city, Moldova. Born in 1940, Ludmila went through World War II when she was a child:

"Now I'm living the second war of my life. I know first-hand what it means to flee your country and leave everything behind."

Ludmila is going to receive cash support: "With this money, I will buy medicine. I really need it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this support!” she says.

Svetlana and her 2 children, aged 12 and 17, have been living in a house offered by the local community in Vorniceni in Straseni district for 3 months now. She never regrets that they went to Moldova to find refuge:

I have never seen so much involvement in my life – the state, the non-governmental organisations, ordinary people - they all jumped to help us as soon as we crossed the border.

Svetlana's family was pleasantly surprised when she learned about the cash assistance, funded by EU humanitarian aid and delivered through Caritas Czech Republic: “The application process was simple and quick. It didn’t take more than 5 minutes.

Svetlana and her 2 children in front of a tree
© Caritas Czech Republic, 2022

Recently, Svetlana received cash assistance and was happy to regain a little sense of financial independence, dignity, and normalcy.

A simplified process to help refugees quickly

Caritas Czech Republic adopted a simplified and convenient way for vulnerable people to get their money without many bureaucratic procedures and hurdles.

While giving the freedom of choice to the people in need, cash assistance also supports the local economy.

Ludmila listening to an advisor, both sitting at a table with a laptop open on it
© Caritas Czech Republic, 2022

It is closely coordinated with the humanitarian community and the Government to ensure that cash grants are distributed efficiently and without duplication.

The aid is intended for vulnerable refugees such as pregnant and single women, families with two or more children, people with disabilities or chronic illnesses and the elderly.

The EU has a long-standing commitment to using cash in humanitarian settings where the context allows.

Evidence shows that cash transfers are often more efficient and effective than other forms of aid. It provides affected people with the means and flexibility to decide and prioritise their recovery and usually allows more aid to reach the beneficiaries directly.

Story by Caritas Czech Republic.
Publication date: 13/07/2022