Moldova: New Country, New Poverty
Moldavia is officially known as the Republic of Moldova, or Moldava. It is a country in Eastern Europe landlocked from the west by Romania and from the remaining directions by Ukraine. The capital is Chișinăa, and as of 2013, the population was over 3.5 million people. The official language is Romanian, and the poverty rate in Moldova is estimated at 26. 3 percent.
Moldova is considered one of the poorest, if not the poorest country in Europe. Northern Moldova is one of the poorest regions in all of Europe. Moldova is entering its third decade of independence. It gained its independence upon the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The religious sector is one of the only social forces not rampant with corruption. Corruption both influences and has infused the country’s social normalities.
For example, it is common for university students to bribe professors to pass their courses. Money laundering in malls and shopping centers is another common occurrence. Government approved massive expansions and construction projects are widespread; however, aid money is often laundered. Even the government officials who belong to organizations and offices purposed with combating the country’s corruption have been accused of being a part of the corruption racket.
Moldova was quite prosperous during the era of the Soviet Union. Its main economic advantage derived from its export of fruits and vegetables to the rest of the USSR. Due to lack of economic opportunity, many Moldavians have begun to move abroad to countries like Spain, Italy and Greece, leaving behind children and the elderly in desolate villages.
The current generation in Moldova is experiencing life without the safety net of the Soviet Union. The current unemployment rate is over 20 percent for men. For the few jobs that are available, wages remain low. The divorce rates are on the rise and the birth rate continues to decline. For much of the year, it is common for married couples and families to live apart due to scarce work opportunities, resulting in an increasing amount of children who must learn to fend for themselves.
– Erika Wright
Sources: Huffington Post, Moldova