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FEATURE STORY

Global Food Crises Response Trust Fund Helps Social Institutions in Moldova Alleviate The Impact of Global Food Price Increases

June 4, 2009


Gagauzia is not an insect, nor is it a curse word. It is an autonomous region in southern Moldova where support from the Global Food Crises Response (GFCR) Program has provided grant money to respond to global food price increases. An annual grant allocation of just under US $45,000, in addition to state budgetary contributions, is helping a sanatorium in the town of Ceadir-Lunga provide a healthy and rich diet for children with disabilities and respiratory conditions.

The grant-financing, which has 2 components, includes around US $2 million in food aid packages distribution targeted at the most vulnerable populations of Moldova and over US $4.5 million in temporary cash transfers to social institutions which provide food to children, elderly, persons with mental or physical disabilities and other vulnerable groups of people across the country. The cash transfers are to be used to purchase food to compensate for food price increases. A total of 1,645 of these have so far received IDA grant money to mitigate the increases in food prices.


" We are cognizant that Moldova needs to reform its social service delivery system to one that is more community-based, and work on this is ongoing. However, in the meantime, it is in these institutions that a large number of the poor and vulnerable reside and ensuring that they would receive adequate nutrition was our major concern. "

Rekha Menon

Task Team Leader

Ten years ago Ceadir-Lunga’s sanatorium was in a state of decay, as witnessed by historic photographs of crumbling buildings and abandoned rooms. The US Embassy invested around US $650,000 in the renovation of the facility back in 2000. With an additional US $200,000 from the Turkish Government the institution was able to acquire modern German medical equipment and replace an obsolete heating system. Being no stranger to challenges and having lived through some hard times, the Chief Medical officer says children’s health remains her primary concern. The renovation of an on-site quarantine facility comes second.

"TheGlobal Food Crises Response Trust Fund grant has helped us a lot,"says Tatiana Damascan, Chief Medical Officer of Ceadir-Lunga sanatorium. "The additional money is helping us provide a rich diet for children staying at our health rehabilitation center. In the past, we could barely afford to provide the minimum recommended diet for our young patients and only 3 meals a day. Today, we can afford to buy yoghurts, seasonal fruit and sweets and have the money to provide the recommended 4 meals a day."

An estimated 18,000 pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under two will be receiving food aid packages under the second component of the project, with deliveries scheduled to start very soon. As Moldova is increasingly becoming affected by the global financial turmoil, grants such as Global Food Crises Response Program are providing vital support to the most vulnerable people in the country.


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