Moldova

Swiss international cooperation supports the Republic of Moldova in providing high-quality public services for all citizens, particularly those living in rural areas and disadvantaged groups. Priority areas for cooperation are healthcare reforms, strengthening local governance and sustainable economic development and employment. In response to the consequences of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, Switzerland has stepped up its bilateral engagement in Moldova and is providing humanitarian aid. 

Map of Moldova
© FDFA

Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe. One reason for this is the still unresolved Transnistria conflict, which from 1992 led to a deterioration in the economic situation and had numerous other negative consequences. In addition, Moldova has been severely affected by the consequences of the current situation in Ukraine.

Although Moldova has already made a lot of progress, the country still faces major challenges. The healthcare sector, for example, is in urgent need of reform and access to public services is limited, especially in rural areas. Moreover, large-scale emigration, an extensive black economy and a weak private sector prevent the economy from realising its potential.

Crisis in Ukraine: support since 2022

The consequences of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine are considerable in Moldova. The country has taken in the highest number of Ukrainian refugees in relation to its own population. In addition, the crisis in Ukraine has had a number of negative impacts on the Moldovan economy, such as high inflation, disrupted supply chains and increased transport costs. Since the beginning of the crisis, Switzerland has stepped up its bilateral engagement and is also providing humanitarian aid. Humanitarian support to Moldova builds on and is complementary to the SDC's ongoing cooperation programme, particularly in the areas of health and governance. In addition, Switzerland has provided direct financial support to Moldova through contributions to various funds to address the many challenges the country is facing. With the additional funding, Switzerland's total support to Moldova in 2023 will amount to approximately CHF 35 million.

Themes SDC

Health

The health status of Moldova's population is well below the European average. Life expectancy is low (70 years), access to basic healthcare is not guaranteed, especially in rural areas, and the population is insufficiently protected against financial risks associated with high healthcare expenses. The SDC therefore supports the Republic of Moldova in its efforts to reform the health system in order to provide high-quality health services that are accessible to all citizens. Another focus of Swiss activities is on awareness-raising measures to prevent non-communicable diseases (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer) and to highlight the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. 

Health

Democratic governance

In the past, Switzerland actively promoted the construction of water supply and sanitation systems that served the entire population of Moldova. Although measurable improvements have been made, they have not translated into better public services at the local level. In order to address this problem, the SDC has therefore included the strengthening of local governance in its activities since 2018. The aim is to generate more resources for local authorities and to increase citizens' participation in local affairs so that their needs and interests are brought into the political process.

Economic development and employment

A low employment rate and high emigration rate pose serious demographic and social challenges for Moldova and hamper economic development. In order for the economy to grow sustainably for the benefit of all, the private sector must stimulate job growth. Companies need to become more competitive and create more and better paid jobs. Switzerland therefore supports three labour market-related measures: 

  • encouraging companies to create new jobs;

  • gearing vocational education and training to the demands of the labour market;

  • expanding the range of services offered by public employment services. 

These measures aim to help fight poverty by reducing the number of unemployed people and generating more income. They should also reduce dependence on remittances from relatives living abroad. 

Approach and partners

Switzerland closely coordinates its transition cooperation with local authorities, other donor countries, and international organisations such as the EU and the UN. All of Switzerland's programmes incorporate the principles of good governance and equal rights.

Switzerland's key partners in the Republic of Moldova:

  • Swiss NGOs and partner organisations: SKAT Consulting Ltd, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Helvetas-Swiss Intercooperation, Swisscontact, Terre des Hommes, Caritas Switzerland, Swiss Interchurch Aid (HEKS), Pestalozzi, etcwiss NGOs; Helvetas-Swiss Intercooperation, Swisscontact, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Terre des Hommes, Save the Children
  • National partners: Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment, Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, city and municipal authorities, civil society and professional organisations, the private sector and local NGOs, etc..
  • Bilateral and multilateral partners: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, German Agency for International Cooperation, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW),  Austrian Development Agency, World Health Organization, United Nations Development Programme, European Union, United Nations Children's Fund, etc. 

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 15

Social Cohesion and Peace Initiative, Phase 1

15.07.2024 - 31.12.2025

Social cohesion in Moldova is weak, with low levels of intergroup contact and civic engagement. Divisions run largely along political lines and have deepened since the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Fostering constructive dialogue is essential for building social cohesion and resilience. The project aims at creating opportunities for young and elderly people to become more active in community processes, while addressing dividing lines within the Moldovan society and paving the way for inclusive nation-building and sustainable peace.


Single-phase project: Enhancing Peace and Economic Prosperity through Women's Leadership and Inclusion (Women for Peace & Prosperity)

01.07.2024 - 30.06.2028

In line with the priorities of the Governments of Moldova and Switzerland, the project aims to socially and economically empower women, including refugee women from Ukraine, increase their participation in decision-making and the workforce, promote their entrepreneurial activities, and finally contribute to a just, equal, inclusive and resilient society and economy in Moldova. The project will promote gender-responsive policies and initiatives to address key barriers to women's socio-economic inclusion.


Ensuring equitable access of refugees to quality health services in the Republic of Moldova (single-phase project)

01.07.2024 - 30.06.2025

The proposed initiative aims to provide equitable access to quality health care for refugees with temporary protection, in line with the priorities of both the Moldovan and Swiss governments. By strengthening the capacity of Moldovan health care authorities and service providers, it will address critical gaps in the delivery of health services for refugees and establish sustainable financing and monitoring mechanisms for such services. The project also seeks to raise awareness among refugees and health care providers on health care packages available to refugees.


Progressing towards Universal Health Coverage in Moldova

01.05.2024 - 30.06.2027

Switzerland supports Moldova’s efforts to achieve better health of the population, through ensuring universal access to affordable medical services of good quality. In its 2nd (exit) phase, the project will accompany the health authorities in advancing health financing and service delivery reforms, improving the efficiency and responsiveness of the healthcare system, promoting transparency and accountability in the health sector, and empowering service users and civil society organizations to oversee healthcare services, their quality and resource allocation.


Ma Implic- Civic engagement in LG, ph.2

01.11.2023 - 31.10.2027

Moldova is firmly committed to improve governance and service delivery at the local level through a local governance reform, which is also a necessary step in view of the possible accession to the European Union. This project will support the Moldovan national authorities in advancing the local governance reform, and the local authorities in designing and implementing more inclusive and transparent local governance practices and a more efficient delivery of various public services.


Moldova – Making the Most of Migration

01.06.2023 - 31.12.2026

With one third of Moldova’s population living abroad, the current country`s leadership is firmly committed to harness the development potential of migration. Previous Swiss-supported interventions resulted in a unique mobilization of Moldovan migrants committed to contribute to the development of their home communities. Switzerland will further support Moldova to ensure the sustainability of diaspora engagement models and to improve evidence-based governance through reliable demographic statistics, including migration trends.


Opportunities through Technologies and Innovation in Moldova (OPTIM) - Phase 2

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2026

The project intends to foster the economic resilience and development in Moldova by adopting a market system development approach, a flexible and agile modality that strengthens the capacity of partners with systemic footprint in key sectors. By facilitating a better access to market, technologies, funding, skills and a more conducive business environment for companies, the project will contribute to create better jobs and additional income for its beneficiaries. 


Contribution to the Peace Dividend Initiative (PDI)

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2026

In a global context of increasing fragility but constrained resources, Switzerland is searching ways to leverage contributions of the private sector to scale-up support to peace and development. The Peace Dividend Initiative (PDI) proposes an innovative, yet ambitious, approach combining field based peace mediation, local business incubation and global impact financing. PDI’s model explores concrete ways to support two seemingly distant objectives: peace and profit.


Resilient, Inclusive Markets in Moldova

01.12.2022 - 31.12.2024

Moldova's growth is volatile and jobless. More and better jobs are needed to ensure its economic recovery, resilience and development, particularly outside large cities. Responding to the Government's request, Switzerland will contribute to supporting key markets in Moldova and, with the help of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), focusing on local markets and value-chains in vulnerable regions. This is complemented by a separate SECO project supporting the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Decent Work Country Programme of Moldova.


Job Creation and Skills Development

01.07.2022 - 30.09.2025

Better market-oriented skills and job prospects are key building blocks for fostering inclusive economic development in Moldova. Building on positive results achieved since 2017, Switzerland will continue strengthening public institutions, private sector stakeholders and excluded groups (rural youth, minorities, migrants) with a four-year contribution to a GIZ programme with a special focus on supporting dual professional education as well as SMEs and smart investment policies.


Small Project Credit for the Swiss Cooperation Office in Moldova

01.06.2022 - 30.11.2025

This credit line provides the Swiss Cooperation Office in Moldova with a flexible instrument to provide direct support for local partners to help them respond to the changing context and to build social cohesion, affected by multiple crises. It contributes to further strengthening civil society in both rural and urban areas of Moldova. The support, provided to interested applicants through an open competition of small grants, has a countrywide coverage and includes the Transnistrian region.


Fostering Active Civic Engagement

01.07.2018 - 30.09.2030

Moldova’s democracy is still young and fragile. The population is hesitant to participate in decision-making and to demand their rights. Good-quality civic education is an essential element for promoting democratic values, raising awareness about the rights and responsibilities of every citizen, and for stimulating a stronger civic engagement. Switzerland supports Moldova in providing children and adolescents with opportunities to apply civic learning inside and outside the classroom.

Object 1 – 12 of 15