Most Threatening Diseases in Moldova
The former Soviet republic of Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. The average Moldovan lives to be almost 70 years of age. This life expectancy rate is an average of three years longer than considerably wealthier countries in the Commonwealth Independent States (CIS). Despite this longevity, Moldovans have the second-highest rate of mortality in all of Europe, losing 980.094 out of 100,000 citizens annually. The most threatening diseases in Moldova that contribute to the high mortality rate include cardiovascular disease, cancer and cirrhosis.

Noncommunicable Diseases
The most threatening diseases in Moldova are noncommunicable. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer, circulatory and digestive system diseases, injuries and poisoning accounted for 73 percent of all deaths in 2012.

WHO declared tobacco and alcohol consumption to be the main contributors to the most threatening diseases in Moldova. Though cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases are not in the top three leading causes of death in the nation, these diseases still claim almost 210 men and women per 100,000 Moldovans a year and remain substantial overall causes of death.

Infectious Diseases
The incidence of tuberculosis has increased by 83 percent since 2013. Diarrhea, lower respiratory and other common infectious diseases also account for major infectious diseases.

Syphilis and gonorrhea collectively affect an average of about 90 people per 100,000 Moldovans. In 2009, the country faced a syphilis epidemic, during which 139 citizens per 100,000 were infected. Though the reported cases of Moldovans infected with syphilis have decreased, it is still more than double the average of the CIS.

The rate of HIV is double the average frequency in the CIS, affecting nearly 20 of 100,000 Moldovans. AIDS affects 6.6 of 100,000 individuals and is above the CIS average.

Government Action for Disease Prevention
In February 2007, the Law on the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS outlines a legal system that aims to educate Moldovan citizens on HIV/AIDS prevention. It works to ensure basic human rights and assuage discrimination for those affected. The degree is also designed to promote medical, social and psychological resources for those living with the disease.

The National Coordination Council is devoted to the enhancement of epidemiological studies and strategies to better control diseases like tuberculosis. The council aims to enhance government policies concerning the control of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis through efficient dialogue between the government and nongovernmental organizations.

Through these national programs, the most threatening diseases in Moldova will become less of an issue as prevention and care become more widespread.

Sloan Bousselaire

Photo: Flickr

Help People in the Republic of Moldova

The Republic of Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. The national GDP amounts to $1,900 per capita. Moldova relies heavily on agriculture as a main source of income, rendering the environment a major factor in the country’s economic affairs. It faces many economic challenges, including political corruption, which impact the economic depreciation as well. In order to help people in the Republic of Moldova, it is necessary for international aid and domestic reform.

Get Involved – How to Help People in the Republic of Moldova

Major organizations helping the people in the Republic of Moldova include recognizable institutions such as The World Bank and the United Nations.

The World Bank

The World Bank currently has eight projects underway. They are designed to help people in the Republic of Moldova by increasing internal revenue through rejuvenating local businesses and helping to construct a self-sustaining economic foundation.

You can learn more about the World Bank’s mission and how to help by connecting with them on their website.

The United Nations

The United Nations Development Programme focuses on environmental efficiency, developing an accountable and transparent government, and evolving inclusive growth for the people of Moldova.

You can supplement this mission by donating funds or by advocating for change and promoting the mission by visiting their website.

Promo-LEX

Local non-profits are working to promote equality and the insurance of human rights by working directly with Moldovan administration to benefit citizens on a residential level.

The Promo-LEX Association is a group dedicated to democratic values, civic liberties and social justice through pro-bono legal work. By subscribing to the Promo-LEX newsletter, you can keep up to date on legal movements and significant occurrences in Moldova.

Volunteering Moldova

Volunteering Moldova is a state-run non-profit charity whose objective is to aid vulnerable populations including children, the disabled, and those facing financial hardship.

You can get involved by volunteering at group homes, disabled institutions and orphanages. Donations are equally important for non-profits that rely on benevolence; learn how you can fund supplies including diapers, food, medicine, books and school supplies and other general goods. Your efforts will help people in the Republic of Moldova.

Moving Forward

Despite these hardships, Moldova’s economy is growing steadily. Legislative efforts, combined with those of independent organizations, have contributed to successfully reducing poverty. This shows hope for a promising future for the Republic of Moldova.

Sloan Bousselaire

Photo: Flickr

How to Help People in Moldova

Finding out how to help people in Moldova does not necessarily require a singular approach. But whatever the method, it must be efficient, as a press release from The World Bank highlighted it as “one of the poorest countries in Europe.” Over 5 percent of the country’s people endure extreme impoverishment, and its administration “pledges to take out of poverty over 150,000 men and women” by the year 2020.

The United States AID explorer page marks the country as lower-middle income. For 2015, U.S. disbursements to the nation reached over $136 million, with its top sector focusing on agriculture. Furthermore, 11 percent of these U.S. funds took the form of military aid, while the rest fell under the economic umbrella.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released an analysis with potential growth changes needed to help Moldovans have a better quality of life. It broke down the needs into categories with the percentage of growth for each:

  • More decent jobs (89 percent)
  • Higher and fair pensions and social benefits (64 percent)
  • A reliable justice system (36 percent)
  • Access to high quality health services (36 percent)
  • Promotion of a healthy lifestyle (24 percent)
  • Investment in infrastructure (22 percent)
  • Transparent governance (20-21 percent)

UNDP mentioned that with U.N. support, the National Bureau of Statistics would consult with those “from vulnerable groups” in the spring of this year to allow better evaluations of “the complexity of poverty phenomenon and its dimensions, given that economic indicators…are not always in line with those experiences and perceptions of people…”.

The World Bank named some of the highlights from the Moldova Poverty Assessment 2016:

Pensions
Pros: Increased income
Cons: There are better methods that benefit disadvantaged groups

Labor markets
Pros: “Contributed to the progress”
Cons: This progress occurred “mostly through productivity increases rather than job creation”

Because a significant part of confronting Moldova’s poverty revolves around the workforce, it is paramount to support legislation that addresses this. This may seem like a daunting task for ordinary people outside of the country to fulfill. But for those questioning how to help people in Moldova, supporting important legislation like the Economic Growth and Development Act—which strives for “market-based economic growth in developing countries”—can be one of the most effective methods in making headway.

Maleeha Syed

Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in Moldova

Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. Its gross domestic product per capita stands at only $5,200. Around 20 percent of Moldova’s 3.5 million people are poor. There are several causes of poverty in Moldova. Here are a few:

Limited agricultural investment
Poverty is more common among farming families. The country’s history can partly explain why this is.

When Moldova gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the government divided a lot of agricultural land into plots too small to be commercially viable. The small size of the plots–most under 2.5 hectares–meant farmers had to depend on manual labor instead of large, advanced machinery and technology. This led to inefficiencies and poor yields compared to the land’s potential.

Rural Moldovans continue to lack access to new technology, agricultural support services and financial services, which shackles them to a life of subsistence farming. With extension services, they could better contribute to agriculture’s share of Moldova’s GDP, which is around 14 percent.

Trade restrictions
A lack of agricultural investment is not the only cause of poverty in Moldova. Sometimes, families, businesses and entrepreneurs have goods, but they do not have reliable buyers.

Countries that Moldova would usually trade with have imposed strict sanctions or all-out bans on products from the small nation. Russia has repeatedly rejected Moldovan goods, such as wine, fruit and vegetables, by stating they do not meet its high quality standards.

This closed market took a toll on the Moldovan economy, which in turn trickles down to negatively affect citizens. Before the embargo in 2014, 90 percent of Moldova’s apples went to Russia. Now they are sent to other countries that buy them at lower prices.

Government corruption 
Corrupt oligarchs and politicians rob citizens of money. In 2015, $1 billion — or about one-eighth of the country’s GDP — was stolen from the country’s three largest banks. Around 40 people, including a former prime minister, either helped or benefited from the massive theft.

The capital city’s mayor, the transportation minister, the agriculture minister, the deputy economic minister, the environmental minister and other public officials face corruption or embezzlement accusations. The many officials facing these charges do not appear to have the general public’s best interest in mind.

Corruption in Moldova makes it difficult for people to succeed in business. Around 30 percent of all companies reported that public authorities requested bribes at least once per year to pass inspections, get permits, obtain utilities access or secure an operating license. The cost of electricity in the country is nearly double the price in the rest of the region, according to the GAN Business Anti-Corruption Portal. These oppressive practices stifle Moldova’s business environment and rank among the causes of poverty in Moldova.

Weak social systems
UNICEF reports that Moldova has a social protection system that comprises 15 benefits and services. But just one of these benefits is for the poor. Furthermore, money earmarked for the poor does not always end up in the right hands. A state report found that 17 percent of social assistance is used inefficiently and goes to families with high incomes.

Adding pressure to government financial resources is an aging population. Low wages, limited educational opportunities and poor job prospects push young Moldovans to leave their home country. Moreover, the birth rate is too low to replenish the population that is lost.

These factors create a disproportionate number of elderly people in the population. The high proportion of the country’s elderly is putting pressure on the country’s pension system.

The government is considering increasing the retirement age to lessen its financial burden, but there are not a lot of jobs for people to get. The labor participation rate was a mere 42 percent in 2016.

Causes of poverty in Moldova include limited agricultural investments, trade restrictions, government corruption and a weak social system. But, the government of Moldova is committed to helping alleviate poverty.

The government works with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to create microfinance opportunities for farmers, which supports agricultural investment and can increase farmers’ returns. IFAD has also invested in agro-processing to ensure farmers prepare their goods for domestic and international markets.

Moldova is also making progress in regards to corruption. Parliament passed a new law on prosecution in 2016. It helps in the fight against corruption by strengthening prosecutor independence and doubling salaries, so prosecutors are less prone to accept bribes.

More evidence of the government’s goal to reduce poverty is its “Moldova 2020” National Development Strategy. The strategy details how reforming the pension system and developing the labor market will contribute to poverty rate reduction. 

As the above examples demonstrate, leaders have set their sights on fixing the underlying causes of poverty in Moldova.

Kristen Reesor

Photo: Flickr

Human Rights in The Republic of MoldovaThe Republic of Moldova recently celebrated 26 years of independence from Russian and Romanian control on August 27, 2017.

The country gained independence in 1991 and developed its own political traditions in the early ’90s resulting in today’s parliamentary democracy. A parliamentary supermajority had the power to elect the president until the transferral of that power to Moldovan citizens on March 4, 2016. This achievement offers its citizens a strong sense of control and power in working with the government.

The Moldovan Constitution, created in 1994, highlights the importance of its people. Such covenants as “civic peace, democracy, human dignity [and] fundamental human rights and freedoms” can be found in the document. Rights including the right to universality, equality, education, protection against inhumane treatment, freedom of speech, free access to justice and health protection are awarded to all Moldovans.

Human rights violations

The 2016 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Moldova, conceded that police brutality, human trafficking, discrimination against various marginalized groups and inhumane conditions in mental hospitals and prisons are among some significant issues taking place despite the republic’s zero-tolerance policies for such abuses.

Efforts to combat these human rights violations are in place. Such laws include the 2012 Law on Enforcement of Equality which legally ensures anti-discrimination for Moldovan inhabitants. The 2016 adoption of law No. 71 advocates for gender equality by requiring that at least 40 percent of each political party’s candidates are women, providing the option of paid paternity leave and prohibiting sexist language and images in advertising.

Though the country is consistently ranked as one of the poorest — and in some reports, the poorest — countries in Europe, human rights in the Republic of Moldova are redolent of some of the richest countries in the world and are continuing to make progress.

Organizations working to improve human rights

Several organizations are taking action against human rights violations including the Moldova Institute for Human Rights (MIHR), the Promo-LEX Association and Civic Solidarity. These associations are substantial in contesting civil injustices and providing free legal aid to those in need.

There is room for legal development for human rights in the Republic of Moldova. Improving the conditions for the disabled, mental institutions and prisons would be a good start. Nonetheless, the republic continues to make strides in evolving its human rights laws and enforcing them.

Sloan Bousselaire

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in MoldovaMoldova is a small country located south of Ukraine and north of Romania. Approximately 34 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Moldova is considered to be one of poorest countries in Europe, and its poverty rate is often linked to the collapse of the Soviet Union as well as an absence of work opportunities.

Moldova used to be a relatively affluent country; in fact, it was one of the richest states in the former Soviet Union. However, once it became an independent country – when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 – economic problems were initiated. Moldova is still recovering from the collapse and it is struggling with making the transition to a market economy. Moldova was not successful in creating a sustainable foundation, either economically or politically. The country is vulnerable because of inequalities in education, access to services and economic – as well as climatic – shocks.

Jobs in Moldova are scarce. Between 300,000 and 800,000 citizens have illegally left the country to work abroad. This tends to be the only viable option because work is poorly paid. There is such little job creation in Moldova that family members working abroad often send remittances home. These remittances help keep the national economy from collapsing. The labor market needs to be strengthened effectively for any progress to be made in Moldova.

The agricultural sector makes up 30 percent of the labor force, with another 24 percent of people involved in low-intensity agricultural work. There is a dependence on subsistence agriculture, which is not a viable way of farming for an entire country. Focusing on improving the agricultural sector is important, because improvements will affect the majority of the country as well as the job market.

There are many areas needing repair in Moldova. Poverty there is associated with the collapse of the Soviet Union, as well as the inability to cultivate a successful job market. Focusing on the political and economic foundation will eventually bring people out of poverty. Surely improvements can be made, as Moldova is a relatively new country with substantial room for growth.

Lucy Voegeli

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in Moldova
Over the past decade, Moldova had remarkable progress in the form of economic growth, the reduction of poverty and greater shared prosperity. However, poverty in Moldova is at one of the highest rates in Europe.

The World Bank reports that Moldova’s economy had rapid growth over the past decade, with an average growth rate of 5% per year. In addition, the poverty rate dropped from 60% to 27% between 2000 and 2004 and reached 11.4% in 2014. While impressive, these data points fail to demonstrate the instability caused by the very factors that spawned this progress.

Economic growth was largely driven by an increase in private consumption. However, this does not necessarily signal that Moldova’s economic situation improved, as this growth is primarily funded by remittances. In 2014 remittances accounted for 26 percent of Moldova’s GDP and were received by more than 25% of households. The decline in employment from 55% in 2000 to 40% in 2014 further demonstrates that while Moldovans may have more money and are actively participating in the economy, the past decade’s growth was not spurred by internal progress.

Any steps taken to create such progress face significant obstacles due to spatial and cross-group inequalities as access to assets, services and economic opportunities varies greatly across the population. The lack of progress toward expanding economic opportunities within Moldova pushed many to leave the country. The lack of employment opportunities was particularly damaging to rural areas, where the slow-growing farming industry remains the primary sector. Limited access to markets and non-farm jobs fostered a system where residents of rural areas are persistently poorer.

Declining fertility and the increasing emigration of the young population left the state with a rapidly aging population and a shrinking workforce. This means that pensions, which were a significant generator of income growth over the past decade, are no longer a viable tool for lifting households from poverty.

Rural areas are home to most of the poorest 40% of Moldova’s population. Residents of these areas have significantly less education and typically have inadequate access to healthcare. Even when health services are physically accessible, many lack insurance and either refuse to pay for care or are driven further into poverty in Moldova by high out-of-pocket costs.

Many believe that the 2014 association agreement with the European Union, which opened up trade opportunities, will stimulate Moldova’s domestic economy in preparation for greater dependency on exports. However, this fails to account for the significance of Moldova’s small scale farming sector which, by design, does not have access to the same opportunities as industrial farms.

Recommendations for leveling these inequalities and avoiding economic stagnation include strengthening the domestic labor market, addressing corruption in the business environment and improving the government’s social assistance scheme. Perhaps most important is the advice of Alex Kremer, World Bank Country Manager for Moldova, who urges that “enhancing the livelihoods of small farmers is paramount” for Moldova to foster internal economic progress.

Given the persistent spatial inequalities in living conditions and the fact that agriculture accounts for such a large portion of employment, it is important to note that the causes of poverty in Moldova remain much the same as they were a decade ago. To eradicate them once and for all, Moldova must invest in its human capital by improving living conditions across the rural-urban divide and foster quality education and healthcare services.

Alena Zafonte

Photo: Flickr

Moldova Poverty Rate
One might imagine that because Moldova is part of Europe, it would be prosperous. However, Eastern Europe is far different from Western Europe; Eastern Europe is much poorer, with Moldova’s poverty rate among the highest.

The reason for this has to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union fell, the people of what is now Moldova came together to create their own government. However, this proposition was riddled with challenges:

  • Previously, no government ruled the land, which meant that the leaders needed to set up the government first, with all its bureaucratic departments, which also made the writing of Moldova’s constitution difficult.
  • Because of the former Soviet Union, it was difficult for the people to find leaders that were not corrupt.
  • Finally, the change from a communist to a capitalist market caused chaos, affecting the production of produce. This gave the country a difficult start, and officials did not have the time (or the resources) to map out Moldova’s poverty rate until 2003. Since then, Moldova’s poverty rate rose to an all-time high of about 30% in 2006.

The World Bank Group, based in Washington, DC, stands at the forefront of reducing this number. With a multitude of different projects, the group gives out loans to developing countries around the world. This has helped tremendously, not only with Moldova’s GDP but also with Moldova’s poverty rate. Eight years after the all-time high of 30% of people living under the poverty line, the number had reduced to only 11.4% in 2014.

However, the country still has a long way to go before poverty becomes an issue of the past. Just in 2014, the National Bank uncovered a corruption scandal; the equivalent of $1 billion (12.5% of the country’s GDP) was stolen, causing an economic recession.

Although the country recovered within two years, the scandal, as well as recent political events, indicates Moldova’s state of security. This will need to be addressed if the country will continue to grow economically.

Michal Burgunder

Photo: Pixabay

Diseases in Moldova
The Republic of Moldova is a parliamentary republic that has implemented an ambitious economic reform program. Agriculture dominates the economy, and the country depends on imports for energy needs. Moldova remains the poorest country in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) European region, although it has made significant progress in economic growth. It had an estimated per capita gross national income of $1810 USD in 2010, according to the World Bank. Life expectancy estimates are two to five years higher than the other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Most deaths are a result of diseases in Moldova. Both communicable and noncommunicable diseases have been increasing steadily since the country’s independence in 1991.

The most common causes of death in the country are circulatory system diseases, followed by cancer and digestive system diseases. Most of the deaths caused by diseases in Moldova are related to heavy alcohol and tobacco use, although chronic liver disease and cirrhosis rates have decreased over the last five years.

Key challenges in the fight against diseases in Moldova also include HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. The prevalence of tuberculosis has been rising since 1990 and has more than doubled to date, reaching 182 per 100,000 people. The most dramatic rate increase is in children.

The deadliest risk factors for diseases in Moldova are dietary risks, high systolic blood pressure and high body mass index. Lesser risks include tobacco smoke, alcohol and drug use and high fasting plasma glucose.

While Moldova has quite a bit of work to do, being number one in death rates due to liver diseases, number five in prostatic hypertrophy and number seven in both coronary heart disease and congenital anomalies, it is on the road to better lives for its citizens. It is pushing to reduce poverty, with many Millennium Development Goals being developed and maintained. The country is also working to develop agricultural sustainability and many different ways of importing medicine and products that will help with rates of diseases in Moldova.

Rilee Pickle

Photo: Flickr

Hunger in Moldova
Situated between Romania and Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in Europe. With an economy that relies heavily on agriculture, the Moldovan people are especially vulnerable to floods and droughts, which often bring more hunger to the country. Here are ten facts about hunger in Moldova:

1. Of the country’s roughly 3.5 million people, 20.8 percent live below the poverty line. While high, this is an improvement, as the poverty rate was 70 percent in 2000.

2. In order to make ends meet, many Moldovans move abroad to work and send money back home. Forty percent of the working-age population work abroad, and remittances, or the money they send back to their home country, make up 30 percent of Moldova’s GDP.

3. After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, agricultural practices changed drastically, cutting production in half. This was devastating for Moldova since agriculture is a huge part of the country’s economy, making up one-fifth of its GDP.

4. Poorer families often struggle to afford nutritious food. A third of children under the age of five, as well as half of the pregnant women, suffer from anemia. This is especially prevalent in rural families.

5. A severe drought in 2007 worsened hunger in Moldova as 96 percent of families experienced production losses. As a result, a third of households were in debt in order to meet food needs, with poor families spending half of their income on food.

6. Climate change is also a threat to food security in Moldova, due to changes in the agricultural landscape. “The rural poor will be disproportionately affected because of their greater dependence on agriculture, their relatively lower ability to adapt, and the high share of income they spend on food,” said William Sutton, lead agriculture economist at the World Bank.

7. Digestive disorders are one of the leading causes of death in Moldova. While this is in part linked to poor nutrition, alcohol is also a culprit. Moldovans drink more than 18 liters of pure alcohol a year, almost three times the global average.

8. Despite high rates of poverty, alcoholism and hunger in Moldova, life expectancy is two to five years higher than richer countries in the Commonwealth of Independent states, such as Russia. In 2010, Moldovan life expectancy was 69.13 years.

9. While the EU has supplied aid in order to address issues such as hunger in Moldova, high levels of corruption and weak institutions weaken the affect this support has.

10. There are many development projects created by organizations such as USAID and the World Food Program that aim to alleviate hunger in Moldova. Many of these projects focus on diversifying Moldova’s economy in order to give Moldovans non-agricultural sources of income.

While the people of Moldova are facing economic and nutritional challenges, both the government and aid organizations are starting to implement promising programs that could play a key role in improving the country’s economic potential and alleviating hunger in Moldova.

Alexi Worley

Photo: Flickr