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Sida's work in Moldova

Sweden's reform cooperation with Moldova seeks to strengthen ties between Moldova and the European Union in areas such as economic and market development through , promoting innovation and entrepreneurship. The cooperation focuses on strengthening the rule of law, reduce corruption and discrimination and promote gender equality. We also support resilience and mitigation of environmental impact and climate change in Moldova.

Sida's support to Moldova 2020

Total development assistance 127490000 SEK, Reform cooperation 127490000 SEK.

Progress has been made

The economy is improving

The economy has grown by an average of 4.6 percent annually in the past 20 years, although 2020 saw a drop due to Covid-19-pandemic and a severe draught.1

Stronger democratic principles

The Moldovan Government has initiated important processes to strengthen democratic principles and to increase respect of human rights.

Closer to the EU

Over recent years, Moldova has strengthened cooperation with the EU with a concomitant boost to the country’s socioeconomic development. EU is Moldova’s main trade partner.

Challenges remain

Weak rule of law

Rule of law remains weak and much needed reforms are not turned into reality. This particularly affects marginalized groups such as women and people with disabilities.

Widespread corruption

While corruption has decreased, it is still endemic and Moldova is one of the 40% of all countries where corruption is most prevalent.2

Discrimination is common

Discrimination against women, people with disabilities, Roma and LGBTQI people remains common.3

Reform cooperation in Moldova

Bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south, the country was the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic until 1991. Moldova is struggling to protect and support human rights in the country. Corruption is widespread and the country’s judicial system is in dire need of reformation. Large-scale labour migration presents a growing threat to the long-term sustainable development of the country.

Economic integration with the EU and development of market economy

In order to strengthen the economy, over recent years the Government has introduced a number of important legislative changes. A large part of Moldova’s economy is dependent on migrant remittances. Access to skilled labor is an obstacle to growth.

Stronger private sector

Corruption, political instability and limited access to skilled labor, are obstacles to the growth of companies in Moldova. By supporting the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Sida contributes to reforms to improve business investment opportunities.

Supporting SME:s and industrial organisations

The development of Small and medium enterprises (SME) in Moldova is hampered by deficiencies in the judicial system. Sweden, together with USAid and the United Kingdom, therefore supports Moldovan industry organisations in information technology, textiles and fashion, tourism and agricultural sectors. Specific support is offered to female entrepreneurs through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development web page

Strengthens the ICT sector

The information and communication sector (ICT) accounts for more than 10 percent of GDP in Moldova and could make a difference in breaking poverty in the country. Sweden supports several projects in Moldova around innovation and digitalization. The goal is to increase competitiveness in the ICT sector by creating a sustainable digital ecosystem. One example is Tekwill, an initiative which aims to raise the quality of the IT sector. By enabling the tech sector to continue to grow, Tekwill encourages local startups and existing companies to expand and attract international IT companies to invest in Moldova. This leads to more jobs and that IT skills do not disappear to other countries.

Through partnership with the EU Delegation, Sweden is also bringing innovation, entrepreneurship and IT to Cahul in southern Moldova.

Tekwill’s webpage

Democracy, human rights and rule of law

Deficiencies in the judiciary remain one of the major obstacles to democratic development in Moldova. Women, LGBTQI people, Roma and disabled people continue to experience intimidation, violence and discrimination. Gender-based violence is a major problem. Two of five women and girls over the age of 15 have experienced physical and/or sexual violence.5

Fair trials and legally aid for women

A weak judiciary is hampering efforts to improve human rights and reduce poverty in the long term. Sweden supports the UN as well as a number of civil society organisations in the country campaigning for the right to a fair trial. Sweden is also collaborating with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on an initiative to improve access to justice in the country, especially for vulnerable groups such as women, Roma and people with disabilities. Sweden supports the Women’s Law Centre, a non-governmental organisation of female lawyers in Moldova that campaigns to protect women’s rights and provides legal information and support to women.

Supporting civil society and businesses in Transnistria

Several initiatives supported by Sweden have been implemented to reduce tensions with the breakaway region of Transnistria . These include a UN Joint Action to Strengthen Human Rights as well as providing support to civil society organisations and developing cooperation between small businesses in Transnistria and the rest of Moldova.

Strengthening democracy through advocacy

Sweden supports the Legal Resources Center from Moldova (LRCM), an organisation that contributes through research and advocacy to strengthening democracy and the rule of law in the Republic of Moldova, with focus on justice, human rights and civil society, and fight against corruption.

LRCM webpage

Environment and climate change

While Moldova is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change, the country’s rich biodiversity is also threatened by fragmentation over exploitation. Environmental legislation is lagging behind, leading to environmental degradation, pollution and unsustainable use of natural resources. The country is still highly dependent on external energy sources.6 The majority of the population lives in rural areas and depends on agriculture for their livelihood, but agriculture needs to be modernized and adapted to climate change.7

Strengthening environmental engagement

Awareness of climate and environmental issues remains low in the country. Sweden´s support to EcoVisio and EcoContact is contributing to local environmental initiatives resulting in greater environmental engagement from civil society organisations, businesses, institutions and the public. EcoContact has developed a grant system to support the development of rural environmental organisations.

Building sustainability through empowering women

Moldova’s rural women are more prone to absolute poverty and more vulnerable to climate change. Sweden supports a project that is building sustainable and inclusive resilient communities through empowering women. UNDP is working with women groups in 30 target communities from Nisporeni, Calarasi, Basarabeasca, Leova districts, Gagauzia and Transnistria regions.

About the work in Moldova on the UNDP webpage

Protecting the Nistru river

The hydro power complex in Nistru has been hit by issues such as altering water flow, fluctuating water level, sand sediments movement and drastic slowing up of the gravel. Sweden is supporting a project to protect the Nistru River against the hydro-power generation impacts.

About the Nistru project on the UNDP webpage

Governance of Sida's reform cooperation with Moldova

The Strategy for Sweden’s reform cooperation with Moldova (2021 – 2027) is currently only available in Swedish on the Swedish government webpage

Updated: 19 January 2022