Moldova - Making the Most of Migration

Project completed

One third of Moldovans already live abroad and the Government acknowledges that migration can bring many opportunities, if addressed and managed properly. SDC`s previous interventions resulted in a unique mobilization of migrants committed to contribute to the development of their home communities. Switzerland will further support Moldova in building a favorable environment for migrants to invest in their home country, as well as to provide good quality return and reintegration services.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Democratic participation and civil society
Diaspora for development
01.01.2019 - 31.05.2023
CHF  7’000’000
Background Migration continues to intensify in Moldova. One third of the country’s population is abroad and family reunification outside of Moldova accelerated by 30% in 2015 compared to 2013. Main destination countries for Moldovan migrants are Italy (mostly for more educated women from urban areas) and Russian Federation (mostly for less educated men from rural areas). Despite declarations to the contrary, the Government of Moldova did not yet succeed to promote an enabling business environment and offer investment opportunities for migrants. Endemic corruption, political instability, and lack of important reforms have led to a serious decline in the level of trust of the population, including migrants, in the Moldovan central authorities. On the other hand, local public authorities are amongst the most trusted institutions in Moldova, therefore migrants prefer to invest at the local level to contribute to their country’s development. SDC`s previous interventions resulted in a unique mobilization of diaspora members committed to contribute to the development of their home communities, as well as in the improvement of reintegration services for returned migrants. The next phase is expected to be the last one and the program will build on its strategic partnerships with the Government and the Congress of Local Authorities from Moldova to ensure effective scaling up of all tested models.
Objectives To maximize the positive impact of migration on the country`s socio-economic development through an improved institutional framework and engaged diaspora.
Target groups Bureau for Relations with Diaspora; Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection; National Employment Agency and territorial employment agencies; district and local authorities; private-sector partners; relevant Non-Governmental Organizations, diaspora associations and migrants’ networks attracted in designing migration policies and contributing to their practical implementation. Final beneficiaries are people from communities affected by migration, migrants and members of their families.
Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: National and local authorities implement Diaspora, Migration and Development policies and programs in a coordinated manner.

Outcome 2: Moldovan labour, potential, actual and returning migrants benefit from comprehensive employment support services.

Outcome 3: Community members, including migrants, are meaningfully engaged in local development processes.


Expected results:  

  • District authorities have the capacity to ensure coherence between national and local diaspora, migration and development policies.

    Instruments and tools are in place for the Bureau for Relations with Diaspora to effectively coordinate the diaspora, migration and development whole of government approach.

    National governmental programs for diaspora engagement are effectively implemented.

    National labor migration policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks are upgraded to enable an enhanced management of labor migration.

    Public and private employment service providers have the skills, knowledge, attitudes and tools to deliver quality services to labor migrants.

    Stakeholders from target communities have the skills, knowledge, attitudes and tools to jointly implement local development initiatives.

    Experience of migrants’ involvement in community development is well documented and capitalized for easy replication.

Results from previous phases:  

  • Migration policy focus has shifted from a perspective of control to optimizing the opportunities provided by migration.

• A comprehensive mechanism for mainstreaming migration into all governmental policies has been put in place.

• The National Employment Agency and its territorial offices have increased the quality of their return and reintegration services.

• Highly skilled migrant professionals have been involved in innovative projects and temporary professional return programs through several diaspora engagement initiatives and programs launched by Government of Moldova.

• Home-Town Associations, established in 38 municipalities across the country, mobilized over 10’000 migrants (40/60 male-female ratio) to develop community projects, benefiting over 250'000 people

  • About 100 additional municipalities established Home-Town Associations without SDC support, demonstrating the model`s attractiveness and scaling-up potential.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
  • Central State of South East
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
  • United Nations Development Programme

Coordination with other projects and actors Synergies with the Local Governance & Economic Development and Employment domains will be continuously fostered. Interactions will be sought with SDC Mainstreaming Migration Global Initiative.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    7’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    6’783’453
Project phases Phase 3 01.06.2023 - 31.12.2026   (Current phase)

Phase 2 01.01.2019 - 31.05.2023   (Completed)

Phase 1 15.01.2014 - 31.12.2018   (Completed)