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Sida's work in Moldova

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has hit Moldova hard and the country faces major challenges. Sida's work aims to reduce tensions and develop the rule of law. Sida supports efforts to reduce corruption and discrimination and increase gender equality. Strengthening ties with the EU and developing climate and environmental work in the country are also important.

Progress has been made

Stronger democratic principles

With a view to future EU membership, the country’s government has adopted an ambitious reform plan to improve the judiciary, trade, public administration and fight corruption.

Women in higher education

Although inequality of opportunity and pay between men and women is high, a relatively high proportion of women have a higher education and work in both the private and public sectors.1

EU candidate country

As of June 2022, Moldova is a candidate country for EU membership, which is driving change and reform.

Challenges remain

Russia’s invasion causes crises

The pandemic, energy crisis and rising inflation are causing several crises at once. Moldova is one of the countries hardest hit by the war in Ukraine, as many people have been forced to flee from Ukraine to Moldova following Russia’s invasion.2

Widespread corruption

Corruption is widespread and affects virtually all sectors of society.3

High discrimination

Discrimination against women, people with disabilities, Roma and LGBTQI people is a problem in Moldova.4

Development cooperation in Moldova

Sida’s development cooperation in Moldova will help create the conditions for people living in poverty and oppression to improve their lives.

The country fails to protect and support human rights, corruption is widespread and the judicial system is in dire need of change.5 Many people of working age are moving to other countries, which is a growing threat to the country’s long-term development.

Since 2014, Sida has been helping to strengthen democracy and the judiciary in the country. Support also goes towards increasing respect for human rights and improving gender equality. Other important areas are climate and environment and inclusive economic development. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, peace-building has become central.

Human rights, democracy, the rule of law and gender equality

The shortcomings of the judiciary remain one of the main obstacles to democratic development in Moldova. Women, LGBTI people, Roma and people with disabilities continue to face intimidation, violence and discrimination. Many women are victims of gender-based violence.6

Sweden is a strong advocate for democracy and human rights in Moldova. We work with organisations to improve the judiciary, fight corruption, strengthen the rights of LGBTQI persons and gender equality. We combat misinformation and support independent media. These are some of the projects that Sida supports:


Fair trials and legal support for women

A weak justice system hampers human rights work and the long-term improvement of people’s lives. Sweden supports several civil society organisations that strive for fair trials and equal treatment before the law. Sida also cooperates with the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) to protect the rule of law for women, Roma and people with disabilities. The Women’s Law Centre works with information and campaigns. They also provide protection and legal support for women and training for legal professionals.

Supporting civil society and businesses in Transnistria

Sida supports several initiatives to reduce tensions between Moldova and the breakaway region of Transnistria. These include support to the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) to strengthen human rights, civil society organisations and projects. The aim is to develop cooperation between small entrepreneurs in Transnistria and the rest of Moldova.

Strengthening democracy through counselling

Sida supports the Legal Resources Centre from Moldova (LRCM), an organisation that contributes to strengthening democracy and the rule of law through research and advice. The organisation works for justice, against corruption and for human rights and civil society.

About the work in Moldova on LRCM website

Peaceful and inclusive societies

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has hit society hard and the country faces major challenges. Moldova is a transit country for Ukrainian refugees from the war. Peacebuilding has therefore become central to Sida’s work in Moldova.

Sida’s goal is to create better conditions for reconciliation and to prevent all forms of conflict and violence. The people who are most vulnerable and discriminated against are supported to claim their rights. These are some of the projects that Sida supports:

Support for refugee women and girls

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the international community, government agencies, civil society organisations and local communities have been actively involved in helping refugees. The work is discussed, coordinated and planned on an ongoing basis to reach as many people as possible and those who need it most.

Through UN Women, Sida supports people affected by the war, with a particular focus on women and girls who are refugees. Women can also improve their skills in information and communication technology to get a job in Moldova or continue their work online.

About the work in Moldova on UN Women website

Winterized houses give refugees shelter

Ecovisio has been working to provide housing for refugees since June 2022, including restoring and winterizing abandoned houses with organic materials in six villages near Chisinau. The houses were abandoned when the previous owners left the country. Refugees now live in the houses with the owners’ consent.

Ecovisio website

Strengthening communities on both sides of the river

Sida supports several projects together with the East Europe Foundation through the Engaging Citizens, Empowering Communities initiative – which, among other things, helps people living on both sides of the Nistru River to connect and work together. The work enables vulnerable groups to participate more in politics.

About the work in Moldova on East Europe Foundation website

Environment and climate change

Moldova is highly vulnerable to climate change. The country’s rich biodiversity is also threatened by land fragmentation and over-exploitation. Environmental legislation is lagging behind, leading to environmental degradation, pollution and unsustainable use of natural resources. The country is also heavily dependent on imported energy.7 The majority of the population lives in rural areas and depends on agriculture for their livelihood, but agriculture needs to be modernised and adapted to climate change.8

Sida works mainly with civil society organisations and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to bring the country increasingly into line with EU regulations and international agreements. It also contributes to greater environmental responsibility on the part of the public and the business community. We support improvements in water and sanitation, waste management, energy efficiency and renewable energy. These are some of the projects Sida supports:

Empowering and influencing women in the environment

Poverty is high among women in rural areas. They are also more vulnerable to climate change. Sida is supporting a UNDP-led project to increase women’s knowledge of sustainable and resilient farming and forestry practices that will contribute to their livelihoods and empower them in their own lives. It contributes to building sustainable and resilient communities. There are women’s groups in 30 communities.

About the programme on UNDP website

Monitoring of radioactive waste

Sida is supporting cooperation between the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority and the Moldovan Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority. Together they have developed a monitoring programme that monitors the storage site of radioactive waste from the country’s nuclear power plants. Several villages are located in the vicinity of the storage site. The monitoring allows for a rapid response in case radioactive substances leak into the soil and water.

Increasing commitment to the climate

Awareness of climate and environmental issues is low. Sida’s support to EcoVisio and EcoContact helps to strengthen environmental engagement in society through workshops and local environmental initiatives. The projects target civil society organisations and businesses as well as institutions and the general public. EcoContact has also developed a grant scheme for environmental organisations in rural areas.

Updated: February 22, 2023