Moldova: ‘A small country with a big heart’

Since 24 February, over 450,000 refugees have crossed the Ukraine franger, and about a hundred thousand have temporarily settled in with Moldova’s fiasco million people.

As its citizens await a visit from UN Secretary-General António Guterres tomorrow, UN News visited the country.

Transformation

From Odessa, Natalia and her one-year-old daughter currently live at the exhibition complex MoldExpo, which has been transform into a refugee centre.

“I was offered to go to Europe, to France,” says the 34-year-old mother. “But I don’t want to go that far. I hope everything will be over and I will be able to return home”.

When the war first began, one couldn’t squeeze into the extensive territory of the roomy pavilions.

“There wasn’t a single free square meter, I’ve never seen anything like that in my life, and people just kept coming,” said Svetlana, an interpreter who works with the UN and other organizations, helping them to communicate with the local population and refugees.

“Residents of Moldova started raising funds right away and literally stuffed the Exposition Centre with various belongings, they kept bringing stuff over,” she continued. “My friend, an attorney, temporarily moved closer to the franger to provide legal advice to the new arrivals. And there are hundreds of people like her”.

UN NewsNatalya, worker at the Refugee Cash Assistance Programme.

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