US Benefits from Foreign Aid to Moldova
The U.S. government has invested over 1 billion dollars in Moldova since 1992 through various foreign aid assistance programs. In times where many Americans think that the government should concentrate on domestic aid, it is important that they should be informed about how the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Moldova. So, how is the aid America invests in Moldova promoting American interest?

The Economic Benefits

Foreign aid is often characterized as an investment because it typically brings a return for the American people. This is especially true in the case of American businesses. In Moldova, the poorest country in Europe, the logic of foreign aid applies perfectly.

The stated goal of U.S. foreign aid to Moldova is to “target assistance at the country’s most promising economic sectors; which will help create economic opportunities that will raise incomes, promote job growth, and improve living standards.” By improving the economy and living standards, the foreign aid investments will then create a new market for American goods, demonstrating the mutual benefit for Moldova and the United States.

When the U.S. government provides aid for an impoverished country, the country’s economy improves, and typically so do the lives of its people. With this improved quality of life, citizens of the country are transformed from targets of charity to consumers with purchasing power. Instead of barely surviving, they become productive members of society, which results in new markets for U.S. companies. Not only does this create more potential customers for U.S. companies, but the increased demand for American made goods can create jobs in the U.S. to create these goods.

USAid in Moldova

USAID, America’s primary foreign aid agency, plays an important role in connecting American businesses directly with these new consumers in developing markets. USAID accomplishes this by encouraging American companies to partner with local people to help educate and support them on projects in local areas.

The result is the creation of a mutually beneficial relationship, whereby the target of the aid becomes self-reliant and also aligned with U.S. companies. In this way, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Moldova as well as Moldova itself.

Furthermore, the U.S. Embassy in Moldova implements programs such as The Cultural/English-Language Small Grants Program, to use education and cultural exchange to help foster mutual understanding between the United States and Moldova. It is the hope that this mutual understanding will lay the foundation for further economic, cultural, and political cooperation between the two countries.

National and International Security

Another common argument in favor of foreign aid is that this assistance helps stabilize vulnerable countries. This lowers the probability of future conflict and, as a result, keeps Americans safe. Syria is the most evident example of what can happen when a country becomes unstable. After the country experienced a drought in 2007, the resulting destabilization and actions by a repressive regime created the terrible crisis we see today.

This is the very reason that the U.S. foreign aid to Moldova targets economic growth in Moldova’s unstable agricultural industry as well as the consolidation of democratic institutions. If there were a slowdown in Moldova’s agricultural industry, which accounts for approximately 17 percent of its GDP, or a crackdown on democracy, the resulting destabilization could be problematic, especially given Moldova’s proximity to Russia.

Therefore, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Moldova by helping to minimize the risk of breakdowns in the critical areas of Moldovan society, which helps ensure stability, economic opportunity and pro-American sentiment in an otherwise vulnerable country.

– Taylor Pace

Photo: Flickr

Girls' Education in Moldova

Previously part of the Soviet Republic, Moldova continues to be one of Europe’s poorest countries. The nation is home to some 3.6 million people, yet women in Moldova face discrimination and inequality in nearly all aspects of life. The Moldovan government has made one of its goals to promote women empowerment and gender equality. Nevertheless, the possibilities for young girls are weakened by stubborn patriarchal mindsets. Although girls’ education in Moldova does not appear to be as discriminatory in practice, statistically, men and women go for more traditional gendered degrees.


A result of a prolonged economic crisis, poverty and unemployment, the quality of education in Moldova is lacking. Many children of Moldova’s poorest families start school later and usually finish their education after primary school. With the number of students enrolled plummeting, schools in villages are at risk for shutting down. To combat this, the government of Moldova has made education a national priority, as it acknowledges the role that education has in strengthening society. To increase primary education completion, the government has increased access to pre-school services for children in rural areas. New teachers have been trained and an emphasis has been placed on early childhood development.

UNICEF reported that girls’ education in Moldova is equal to that of boys. Boys and girls face the same levels of access to education. If anything, girls are faring better in schools. UNICEF stated that girls were achieving slightly higher marks than boys in their classes. In 2005, the Education Policy and Data Center reported that both girls and boys in primary schools had equal levels of pupils not enrolled in school. The same report concluded that a larger portion of secondary male students did not attend school.

Gender Gap in Higher Education

The gender gap in education is especially small in secondary education and below. However, girls’ education in Moldova becomes segregated when women seek higher education. Women make up 51 percent of students in higher education. (No source found). Although there is a supposed equality in this schooling, women and men do not tend to study the same degrees. Instead, there are degree patterns that men and women take. A horizontal segregation appears, where female students tend to study social sciences and male students typically choose technical subjects.

A possibility for this sort-of gendered degree choice is the wish of their parents. In one instance, a Moldovan student was asked what she would like to study. Given her parents’ preference for a more feminine job, she said that she would likely finish her education in pedagogy because her mother preferred that she did that. Yet, she also had the desire to go to the police academy to disrupt gender norms.

Society imposed gender norms are likely the root of why there is this divide in studies between men and women. The Women’s Law Centre conducted research in 2015 that discovered that over 90 percent of men and more than 81 percent of women in Moldova believe that domestic chores should be the main responsibility of a woman. Men are expected to earn money, while women are expected to take a more traditional route.

The government of Moldova has increasingly found success in education reform. Girls and boys are offered and attain the same levels of education. At a higher education level, girls’ education in Moldova differs from that of their male colleagues.

– Stefanie Babb
Photo: Flickr

Sustainable Agriculture in Moldova

Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova, is a landlocked country surrounded by Romania and Ukraine in eastern Europe. Previously part of the Soviet Union, Moldova was then one of the richest countries in Europe. Nowadays, despite its progress in recent years, Moldova remains the poorest country in Europe.

Moldova is mainly an agricultural country, with about 75 percent of its land utilized for farming and agriculture. However, Moldova still suffers from food insecurity and an unstable economy. The economy in Moldova is thwarted by high government spending and low government integrity. Moldova is nearly completely reliant on agricultural exports to other countries.

Recently, Moldovans have introduced initiatives to create sustainable agriculture in Moldova and to enhance the competitiveness of the agro-food sector.

In 2012, the World Bank funded the Moldova Agriculture Competitiveness Project. The goal of this project is to enhance the competitiveness of the agro-food sector by modernizing food safety management, increasing market access for farmers and creating sustainable land management. This will increase Moldovan agricultural exports to other countries, which will lead to future economic growth. Moldova received over $20 million in funding from the World Bank for the project, including additional funding in 2015 and 2016. The project is set to close in 2019.

The Moldovan non-governmental organization EcoVisio was created in 2017. The aim of the organization is to increase awareness and education for sustainable development in Moldova, specifically in establishing sustainable agriculture in Moldova. The organization has a goal of education in the fields of organic agriculture and eco-construction. This will help create food security in Moldova.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has also implemented initiatives within Moldova. Since 2015, the United Nations has spent more than $1 million on creating and strengthening sustainable agriculture in Moldova. In accordance with the Technical Cooperation Program, the FAO has been working to strengthen the food safety system in Moldova. By growing safer and healthier food, Moldovans will be able to create better food security for their country.

Another way that the FAO is trying to create sustainable agriculture in Moldova is through pest control. In particular, the United Nations initiative focuses on integrated pest management, the disposal of obsolete and harmful pesticides and enabling other conditions specific to food safety.

Many of these initiatives have already started to help stabilize the economy. The GDP in 2016 was over $6 million, which, while still low, is slowly rising. Unemployment was also down to just over 4 percent in 2016.

Moldova still has a long way to go before it has a completely sustainable agriculture system. These programs and projects have created a great starting place and have laid the groundwork for Moldovans to build on for many years to come. By creating sustainable agriculture in Moldova, the Moldovan economy will have a better opportunity to stabilize and prosper further.

– Courtney Wallace

Photo: Flickr

After being occupied by the Soviet forces in 1940, the country of Moldova became independent approximately fifty years after the second world war. In 1992, Moldova was declared an independent republic. Even though the invasion took place over fifty decades ago, Moldova still suffers the consequences of the fall of the Soviet era today.

Out of all the Eurasian countries that were affected by the war, poverty-struck Moldova the hardest. The country was, in fact, in a better economic situation in 1991 than after its freedom. The now democratic country is one of the poorest on the European continent. Up to 34 percent of the population lives below the poverty rate.

Environmental issues are also affecting Moldova, thus leaving the country with unsuitable ground to cultivate on. The European country mostly relies on agriculture in order to create economic profit. But such activity contributes to a decline in the quality of land due to soil erosion.

The Polish government has taken a big step forward with the success of humanitarian aid to Moldova. With a contribution of PLN 1 million, or almost $300,000, the Polish government has helped the Moldovan population to lower the level of starvation during droughts and other environmental issues that greatly affect the agriculture sector.

These and many more related issues have increased the flow of humanitarian aid to Moldova. The independent humanitarian organization Help Moldova has been a pioneer in aiding the nation. Rebuilding hospitals, helping families living in poverty and providing medical attention to those in need are just some of the initiatives carried out by the organization.

Caritas Czech Republic is also one of the many NGOs assuring the success of humanitarian aid to Moldova. The organization has been helping Moldovan families for fifteen years. By providing job opportunities, agricultural machines to provide more profit and food and creating school opportunities for disadvantaged children, Caritas Czech Republic is leading Moldova into becoming a better country day by day.

While Moldova is in the process of rebuilding itself, it is still not part of the European Union. But help and humanitarian aid to Moldova from nonprofits and government organizations alike are building a better, more developed country. Moldova still has a long way to go to become a fully developed country in terms of economic and social aspects, but the success thus far has been and still is, undeniable.

– Paula Gibson

Photo: Flickr

The Need for Investment in Infrastructure in Moldova
Development of infrastructure in Moldova has progressed significantly since 1999 — a year in which the International Telecommunication Union reported that even the most basic telecommunications services were unavailable and the population was largely disconnected. Since this tumultuous time, Moldova’s national telecom, Moldtelecom, has upgraded to fiber-optic technology and a digital switch system through a $10 million investment from Denmark’s Great Northern Telegraph (GNT).


Moldova’s telecommunications network has surpassed many western countries including Germany, Great Britain and even the United States (as far as in their internet connection). The company also installed land-lines and a consistent mobile service across the entire country; these measures are a stark contrast to 1997, when Moldtelecom had 15 lines per 100 people and practically no cell service with a rate of just 0.3 percent.

Improving infrastructure in Moldova requires greater focus on its road network, electricity and the procurement of investments for further development. Moldova’s railroads haven’t been upgraded since the Soviets built them; in fact, they haven’t been electrified, and thermal deformation during the summertime acts limited speed and load weight on the railroads.

Road Network

However, the road network in Moldova is of far greater concern. In 2006, only 7 percent of Moldova’s road network was proclaimed safe and of satisfactory quality. As the 21st century has progressed, Moldova’s winters have become warmer and wetter, leading to muddy and impassable roads. If these worsening weather conditions continue, Moldova’s rural communities will be cut off from the inner city areas of the country during the winter and rainy seasons.


Moldova’s electrical supply is a key factor in improving the deficits in infrastructure in Moldova. Unfortunately, 61 percent of energy imports is gas and relies on Russia for much of this supply. Due to missed payments and bills stacking up, Moldova’s gas supply and their electricity are often cut off.


The main source of these failing aspects of infrastructure in Moldova comes to a simple lack of investments. The country doesn’t have the money or resources to spend on improving its infrastructure. As of November 2017, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has agreed to work with authorities on creating sustainable practices in infrastructure development in Moldova. They plan to support modernization of its roads and railways and encourage transparency in policy.

According to Dimitri Gvindadze, Head of the EBRD’s office in Chisinau, “The new strategy gives a fresh impetus to our engagement in Moldova. Combining financial investment with policy engagement, the EBRD is perfectly placed to make a real impact in Moldova. Our focus is on the establishment of a sound, transparent and modern financial sector that works for the people and the companies of Moldova.”

This response is promising for the future state of infrastructure in Moldova, and only time will tell if the improvement that has taken place in the country thus far will continue.

– Kayla Rafkin

Photo: Flickr

development projects in moldovaOnce considered one of the richest states in the former Soviet Union, Moldova is currently one of the poorest countries in Europe. The Moldovan economy heavily relies on agriculture. Development projects in Moldova mostly focus on fostering democratic governance and economic growth in the country, and poverty reduction is a primary goal for these projects.

Here are five ongoing development projects in Moldova.

  1. Moldova Competitiveness Project (MCP)
    Implemented by Chemonics International, Inc., MCP (2015-2020) aims to improve efficiency and competitiveness in Moldovan industries in order to support Moldova’s efforts to foster a strong, export-oriented economy. Some of the project’s goals include improving the quality of Moldovan products and services, increasing productivity and technical skills in the labor force and expanding market linkages. These goals are expected to increase incomes, reduce poverty and emigration and enable Moldova to compete within the E.U. and other high-value markets.
  2. Development Credit Authority (DCA)
    DCA (2011-2028) helps, “Moldovan financial institutions to increase financing for local small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) through a loan guarantee mechanism.” The main goal is to increase economic opportunities and improve the Moldovan private sector’s competitiveness. Additionally, it aims to improve Moldovan energy efficiency.
    Current DCA programs in the country include two guarantee facilities. One of them supports the Moldovan Information Technology (IT) sector in order to increase loans to IT firms for capital and long-term investments and support loans to IT professionals for mortgages, thereby improving quality of life and providing continued support to investments in the country.
    USAID Moldova and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) launched the second guarantee in 2014 to “support lending to the energy sector,” in order to improve Moldovan SMEs’ efficiency, thereby strengthening their “commercial viability and growth in an environmentally sustainable manner.”
  3. Moldova Sustainable Green Cities
    With a budget of $2.7 million, this project is set to run from 2017 to 2022 and catalyze investments in low carbon green urban development with an integrated urban planning approach. The project seeks to achieve its goal by encouraging innovation and participatory planning and partnerships with various public and private sector entities. The goal is to improve the quality of life and advance opportunities for sustainable economic growth in Moldova. Primarily, the project aims to establish a sustainable Green City Lab that would continue to operate after its closure.
  4. ICT Excellence Center (ICTEC) Project
    Under this 36-month project, USAID will launch and develop an ICT Excellence Center in Moldova in collaboration with the government and the private sector. Through this development project in Moldova, USAID aims to bring “significant new resources, ideas, software, technologies and development activities, such as training, practical assignments and mentoring programs” to the country. The project will support the setup and equipment needs, the creation of a relevant business plan, training of qualified staff and the expansion of educational and entrepreneurial development activities.
  5. Export-led Development of Organic Agriculture in Moldova
    Implemented by People in Need, this project builds on previous support for organic agriculture in Moldova. It specifically focuses on developing the local organic market and sustainable extension services, preparing Moldovan farmers to export products for the sustainable “advancement of the entire sector.”

Most of these development projects in Moldova aim to improve its presence within the E.U. and other competitive markets in order to enable the people of this nation to lift themselves to a higher quality of life. With similar continued investment in the Moldovan community, industry and infrastructure, there is hope that Moldova will be able to reach this goal.

– Mehruba Chowdhury

Photo: Flickr

women's empowerment in MoldovaIn the Eastern European country of Moldova, women have a very peculiar place in society. Men revere and admire women in their society, but many men also hold traditional views which say that women should be the caretakers and the nurturers of the household. These views can stagnate women’s empowerment in Moldova.

Domestic violence is also an issue. About 22 percent of women in Moldova claim that they have been abused at the hands of a partner. This number can increase as the parties get older, according to a report by Promundo Global.

Like many countries, Moldova strains against a predominantly patriarchal society. There are women who own businesses, but they have to struggle to find resources. Women are often unable to obtain loans and lack control of their capital. In this male-dominated political society, women are not favored.

Despite these circumstances, there is hope for women’s empowerment in Moldova. The country has pledged to encourage gender equality. The biggest commitment is the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Highlighting the state of women’s rights is the primary purpose of CEDAW.

Another way the country has promoted gender equality is via the Women in Politics initiative. This initiative “works to increase women’s participation in Moldova politics and decision-making,” according to U.N. Women. It also supports women in media.

While women in politics and media are important, a big focus of organizations such as the World Bank is women entrepreneurship. Women-owned businesses make up 25 percent of all businesses in Moldova.

There is evidence that shows that productivity is higher when a business is owned by a woman. This is important for Moldova’s economy, as female-owned businesses employ more people, specifically women.

Women can generally outperform men in Moldova if they are given the chance to do so. In order for women’s empowerment in Moldova to be progressive, the restrictions that limit women need to be removed. The programs that are already underway are providing many opportunities to make that goal a reality.

– Dezanii Lewis

Photo: Flickr

Education in MoldovaEducation in Moldova includes five tiers. Students enter school at the age of six and graduate at 17, and the school year runs from September to July, similar to American school systems. Introduction to the educational system begins with primary school until age 10. Secondary education is split into lower and upper secondary cycles. Lower secondary, grades five to nine, is called gymnasium. Gymnasium graduates must pass an entrance exam to qualify for Lyceum before admittance.

Upper secondary—or lyceum—includes grades 10 through 12. Graduating from lyceum qualifies students to receive their “Scoala Medie de Cultră general,” or general certificate of completion. Students may also be awarded a Diploma de Bacalaureat if they opt to take and pass the national baccalaureate exam.

Higher education is offered by both private and public universities, academies and institutes. Getting a degree from any of these can take four to five years depending on the chosen upper secondary education. Undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral studies are also available.

The Moldovan Constitution guarantees that state public education be free and all citizens have the right to access to education. Higher education in Moldova is more or less free. Tuition fees for students living off-campus is an average of 5000 Moldovan Lei, or $280.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) occurs every three years in order to test the effectiveness of education in Moldova, with a two-hour-long exam on math, science and reading for 15-year old students. The program is a global effort that engages over half a million students from 72 countries in order to evaluate education systems worldwide.

PISA encourages the development of facilitative learning environments and improved educational systems for low and middle-income countries and aims for inclusive learning for all students. PISA is designed to assess students’ ability to apply what they have learned in school to real-life situations. The organization’s main goal is to measure a country’s effectiveness in preparing students for success in higher education and a professional career.

In 2009, Moldova scored below average in all areas of study according to PISA test results. However, in 2015, Moldovan students had a 15-point increase in the sciences, a 28-point increase in reading and a 23-point increase in math. Equity rankings between boys and girls and social backgrounds are about equal.

In 2013, the Moldovan government devised and instituted pivotal changes that may be responsible for improved scores: increased funding and academic accountability. Increased financing for public educational institutions has undoubtedly improved conditions.

The implementation of the Education Management Information system (EMIS) which includes information about a school’s ranking and performance marks, has motivated schools to improve their quality of education. This also allows parents to make informed decisions when choosing a school for their child.

The students’ PISA scores offer a hopeful insight into education in Moldova. Although it may not be the best, it is improving.

Sloan Bousselaire

Photo: Flickr

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.


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