The EU and UNDP support socio-economic inclusion efforts for refugees through "Mayors for Economic Growth" initiative
October 5, 2022
The European Union (EU) provides support to 14 communities of the Republic of Moldova that host refugees from Ukraine through the "Mayors for Economic Growth" (M4EG) initiative, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The support, in a total amount of €290,000, includes the distribution of first aid kits, household appliances, furniture, mattresses, heaters, and IT equipment, and the opportunity to take part in an IT training program and study the Romanian language for hundreds of refugees. The courses will be organized in the municipality of Bălți and in Găgăuzia region until the end of the current year. Knowledge of the Romanian language and of IT skills will help refugees to easier find jobs.
“The local public authorities are on the front line and need additional support for the labour market integration of people fleeing the war in Ukraine. The support provided by the European Union for Romanian language training of refugees and mediators will help them to find a decent job and integrate in the local communities. By this initiative we will improve local capacities and business infrastructure and stimulate the creation of new businesses in the regions of the Republic of Moldova,” said Jānis Mažeiks, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.
"EU and UNDP are expanding their support to 14 partner communities as part of the regional EU/UNDP ‘Mayors for Economic Growth’ initiative, by shouldering the local efforts to facilitate socio-economic inclusion of Ukrainian refugees through the enhancement of Romanian language literacy. We are confident that the Romanian courses will contribute to the smoother integration of refugees in the host communities, while the IT learning - to obtaining decent and gainful jobs while in Moldova," notes Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative in the Republic of Moldova.
At the same time, within the 14 localities that are beneficiaries of the assistance program, free Internet access will be made available in public parks. A mediator will also be employed in each of the beneficiary municipalities, with the support of the EU. The mediator will facilitate refugees' access to information about the services available to them and will be involved in solving issues such as employment or enrolment of children in school.
The municipalities will also benefit from support in evaluating the actions taken by the local public authorities to manage the flow of refugees and support them.
The towns of Dondușeni, Drochia, Bălți, Telenești, Călărași, Ungheni, Ceadîr-Lunga, Cimișlia, Cărpineni, Leova, Cahul and the villages of Selemet, Copceac and Palanca are the communities that will benefit from assistance to support refugees.
The needs of the refugees have been identified based on an assessment carried out in 30 localities that are members of the M4EG initiative, and where the largest number of refugees are hosted. Until May this year, they accommodated more than 1,300 families from Ukraine, most of the refugees being children and women. According to the assessment, most communities mentioned the need to purchase medical products and basic food, support for employment and for children's schooling.
The Mayors for Economic Growth Facility is a joint EU & UNDP initiative to support Mayors and their teams in the Eastern Partnership region. The M4EG offers resources, network and learning opportunities to explore new trajectories of growth, to make towns and cities more attractive for people and investment.