Press Release

Women’s organisations in Moldova receive funding to respond to the humanitarian crisis

30 January 2023

  • A total of 14 women’s rights organisations and women-led organisations in Moldova have each received grants ranging from $30,000 to $350,000 USD to implement projects responding to the needs of refugees, mostly women and children, as well as local women.
Photo: © UN Women Moldova

The projects, which will mainstream gender into humanitarian response actions, will be implemented with the support of UN Women Moldova, with funding provided by the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund.

The grant certificates were offered to the beneficiary organisations at a UN Women Moldova event on 20 January titled "The role of women and women-led organisations in managing the humanitarian crisis response". The total amount of grants offered is $2.6 million USD. The project activities will aim to strengthen the institutional capacities of organisations, encouraging women’s leadership and supporting the socio-economic empowerment of women refugees from Ukraine and those from host communities. This will be done by developing and boosting their professional and entrepreneurial skills, which will in turn contribute to strengthening social cohesion among local communities and Ukrainian refugees in Moldova.

"A year has passed [since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine] and the suffering of the people has remained just as great,” said Simon Springett, the UN Resident Coordinator for Moldova, at the event, adding that 80 per cent of Ukrainian refugees are women and children. “We support the localisation of gender-based humanitarian responses. Understanding the needs of communities is essential, partnerships with local organisations are extremely important, and in Moldova, where 90 per cent of refugees live with host families, their role is vital. The UN will continue efforts to promote social cohesion among the local community and refugees".

Ghita El Khyari, the Head of the Secretariat for the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund, thanked partner organisations that have been involved since the first day of the Russia-Ukraine war. "We are proud of the fact that we have managed to grow our community to 14 organisations,” she said. “Women's organisations and organisations led by women are increasingly seen as trusted partner organisations with the necessary expertise and capacity to respond to crises".

Felicia Bechtoldt, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, said that the crisis caused by the war has significantly increased the vulnerability of women. “Over 650,000 people have entered Moldova since the beginning of the war, with over 65 per cent of these refugees being single women who face a high risk of gender-based violence, exploitation and abuse,” she said. “Women's needs are increasing, and it is vital that we provide help to women refugees and those from host communities: psychological services, social assistance, vocational training and employment assistance. The involvement of women gives refugees self-confidence and emotional stability".

UN Women Moldova Country Representative, Dominika Stojanoska, spoke on the importance of supporting civil society organisations during this time. "Since the beginning of the crisis, it was very important to improve our partnerships with civil society because we knew they would be on the ground with or without funds, and we knew they needed support,” she says. “This funding will not only give assistance to refugees but also support community work to ensure economic resilience and conflict prevention. Cooperation with local organisations has proven effective".

The projects will be implemented in different regions across Moldova, including Transnistria. Last year, six other women’s rights organisations and women-led organisations also implemented projects funded by the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund, in which over 1,400 refugees received emergency assistance, around 600 women benefited from training and counseling sessions and 167 women took part in leadership programmes. .

About the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund

The Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund is the only global funding mechanism exclusively dedicated to accelerating programmatic and institutional support to local women's organisations operating in fragile conditions, enabling them to respond to crises and build lasting peace. As the host of its World Secretariat, UN Women plays a key role in the success and continuous development of the fund.

About UN Women

UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and women's empowerment. A global champion of women and girls' rights, UN Women was established to accelerate the response to their needs around the world. UN Women supports the equal participation of women in all aspects of life, focusing on the following strategic priorities:

  • Women lead, participate and equally benefit from governance systems.
  • Women have financial security, decent jobs and economic independence.
  • All women and girls live a life free from any form of violence.
  • Women and girls contribute to and have a greater influence over the creation of lasting peace and resilience, equally benefiting from conflict prevention and humanitarian action.

Olesea Simion

UN Women
Communication Officer

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UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

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