Caritas Europe visits Moldova still welcoming Ukrainian refugees

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Caritas Europe visits Moldova still welcoming Ukrainian refugeesA delegation lead by the President of Caritas Europe arrived on Monday, 11 July, to express solidarity to the East European country where thousands of Ukrainian refugees continue to flow in.

A delegation of Caritas Europe is in Moldova for a four-day solidarity visit to the East European country which is currently hosting more than 83,000 refugees from bordering Ukraine.

Moldova's support to Ukrainian refugees

“We want to express our solidarity with Moldova, which has been heavily impacted by the war in Ukraine. Considering the size and economy of the country, this impact has been disproportionate. Moldova needs greater support from the EU”, said Austrian Bishop Michael Landau, President of Caritas Europe, who is leading the delegation with Silvia Sinibaldi, International Cooperation and Humanitarian Director.

The small Republic of Moldova, the poorest nation in Europe, home to a population of some 2.5 million people, has been hosting more refugees from Ukraine per head than any other country.

Caritas Moldova's work

Since the beginning of the conflict the local minority Catholic Church has been on the frontline of humanitarian relief efforts in collaboration with State authorities, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and many volunteers from all walks of life.

In this time Caritas Moldova has been assisting more than 100,000 people providing shelter, food, money and psychological support. It has provided at least one hot meal a day to over 42,000 beneficiaries in eight different national refugee centres.

The visit of Caritas Europe

On Tuesday 12 July, the Caritas Europe delegation visited several projects in the capital Chisinau and at the border with Ukraine where Caritas Moldova provides support to children from vulnerable backgrounds.

On Wednesday 13 July, the team is scheduled to visit Caritas Moldova’s Cash Centre in Moldexpo, through which more than 60,000 refugees have been receiving financial support since March 2022. It will also visit the Fides Refugee Centre in Chisinau, which was set up at the beginning of the war and which hosts, on average, 110 refugees from Ukraine every day. In this centre the guests receive accommodation, meals, and emotional, legal and medical support.

The visit will end on Thursday, 14 July, with the opening ceremony of a new Refugee Centre in Chisinau, which is run by Diaconia in collaboration with Caritas. The inauguration will be attended by local civil authorities and by the Orthodox Metropolitan of Bessarabia, Archbisop Petru Păduraru.

Vatican News staff reporter