Pandemic crisis in Moldova will result in growing income and non-income inequalities and further social exclusion of vulnerable groups

October 7, 2021

The Multidimensional Poverty Index value for the Republic of Moldova is 0.004, according to the latest available data from 2012, included in the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

The highest contribution of deprivation comes from the standards of living, followed by education and health. Moldova is positioned as one of the poorest countries in the region, with inequalities between urban and rural areas in access to education and services.

According to National Bureau of Statistics in Moldova (NBS), in 2018 the absolute poverty rate was 23.0%, decreasing by 4.7 percentage points compared to 2017. At the same time, the extreme poverty rate was 8.7%.

UNDP Moldova has teamed up with the National Bureau of Statistics and OPHI to produce a local MPI, that shall be soon released, which considers the country’s context and peculiarities of deprivations in Moldova. The index will be used for policy formulation and monitoring.

As COVID-19 crisis unfolds, the expected impact of the deprivations in specific dimensions for several particularly affected groups of population is deepening. An in-depth socio-economic impact assessment conducted in 2020 by UNDP and UNFPA concludes that the crisis had a negative almost immediate impact on already vulnerable groups, including women, poor households, but also exposed other groups to new risks. The crisis is not only affecting incomes, but also access to services and will have long-term negative impacts on all dimensions of sustainable human development. Prior to the crisis, Moldova was loosing on average about 10% of its human development potential due to various forms of inequalities.

The global Multidimensional Poverty Index examines the level and composition of multidimensional poverty across 109 countries covering 5.9 billion people.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has eroded development progress around the world, and we are still grappling to understand its full impacts," says Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator. "This year's Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) reminds us of the need for a complete picture of how people are being affected by poverty, who they are and where they live, if we are to build forward better from this crisis and design effective responses that leave no one behind.”

While complete data on COVID-19’s impacts on the MPI are not yet available, the pandemic has exposed cracks in social protections systems, education, and workers’ vulnerability around the world. These cracks, the report shows, are deepest in countries with higher levels of multidimensional poverty. For instance, millions of children around the world stopped attending school during the pandemic but that disruption of formal education was more prevalent in higher MPI countries.

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