The cash assistance provided to refugee families from Ukraine brings safety closer to every child
The story of Victoria, mother of five, for whom the financial support offered every month by UNICEF and UNHCR is the only source of income
Victoria is 32 years old, and she raises her five children on her own. After two months of war and seven days spent in the basement of a house in Odessa, Ukraine, the young mother left in search of safety. Her biggest fear is to lose her family due to rocket strikes and to see panic engraved on the faces of her children.
”When a missile hit a block of flats close to our house, I took my children and fled to Chisinau,” says Victoria, in a small room of the Municipal Refugee Placement Center of Moldova, where she sought refuge for an undetermined period. ”At the center, we are a true family. We got everything we need.”
Victoria is one of the more than 61,000 refugees from Ukraine who receive monthly financial support from UNHCR, UNICEF, and other partners.
”You must know that I received money on my card, and I used them to buy medicines, fruit, and food for my children. They were so happy, and I was also happy to afford that,” says Victoria.
At the same time, the three-year-old Miriam asks insistently for the phone to play; the nine-year-old Timur says he wants to go in the park for a walk and the seven-year-old Amina listens attentively to her mother’s indications and tries to be helpful. Omar is 10 years old and he sits quietly, a bit sad. Victoria is getting worried.
”The strikes and the sirens affected them a lot. Omar, the eldest son became very anxious. Miriam is also very agitated. They are all very stressed. The youngest child has special needs. Moreover, shortly before the war he had a heart surgery. He needs rehabilitation,” says the woman.
The family left Ukraine on 20 April. To be eligible for the monthly cash assistance amounting to MDL 2,200, Victoria got registered at the Moldexpo cash assistance center.
”In Ukraine, I used to receive child benefits only. Their father helps me with money only when he has resources. Hence, I don’t have many subsistence means. I bought food and other things the children wanted with the first money I received. It is very hard to come to a foreign country with five children and no income source, particularly given that the food is getting more expensive,” says the mother of those five children.
Victoria dreams to go back home and enjoy peace together with her children.
”I want to go home, I want stability, I want missiles never fly over the sky and children to go back to schools and kindergartens in Odessa. If rocket strikes continue, I will try to enroll my children in an educational institution in Moldova, but I hope we’ll return home."
By the end of this year, 45,000,000 dollars will be distributed to refugees as cash assistance, and 6,000,000 dollars is the contribution of UNICEF.
To receive cash assistance, refugee families are advised to register at the closest registration centre. More exactly, eight such centers were opened in the Republic of Moldova.Two of them are located in Chisinau and other centres are located in Donduseni, Causeni, Cahul, Ungheni, Orhei and Balti. There are also four mobile teams that inform and register refugees from vulnerable groups. Since the war in Ukraine began, over 500,000 refugees came to the Republic of Moldova, and half of them are children.