World Bank Helps Moldova’s Vulnerable Weather Food Price Increases

June 21, 2009

Affected by drought and then floods. This is Moldova’s unfortunate track record over the past few years. In addition to hostile climatic conditions, the country had been hit by the brunt of global food price increases, which has left a scar on the most vulnerable. The World Bank’s response to this challenge has been the allocation of an emergency US $7 million under the Global Food Crises Response (GFCR) Program, of which US $2 million are being used for provision of food aid packages to the most in need.

The program is implemented by UNICEF and the Ministry of Health, with the participation of Moldova’s Ministry of Local Public Administration and Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child.

The distribution of the first lot of food started on June 2 in the town of Orhei, central Moldova. Standardized packages include wheat flour, rice, buckwheat, sunflower oil and canned meat – the basics needed to ensure an adequate diet for expectant mothers.

" The increases in food prices, exacerbated by the drought of 2007, have brought massive losses to Moldova’s economy. In light of this, we are grateful to the World Bank for not forgetting the needs of the most affected and for funding this important activity. "

Boris Golovin

Deputy Minister of Health

Food packages are delivered with the support of local public authorities based on specific eligibility criteria for beneficiaries. Under the other component of GFCR Program in Moldova, over 1,645 social institutions have been receiving temporary cash transfers to provide food to the elderly, children, people with mental and physical disabilities and other vulnerable groups.

"We are cognizant that in times of crisis it is the poor who are the most affected," says Melanie Marlett, World Bank Moldova Country Manager. "Moldova’s repeated exposure to natural hazards and the global increases in food and oil prices have hit the poor much harder than others.The Bank has responded in a timely manner to help mitigate these adverse effects on the country’s most vulnerable."

An estimated 18,000 pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under two will be receiving food aid packages across the country. As Moldova is increasingly becoming affected by the global economic turmoil and facing a growing budget deficit, grants such as Global Food Crises Response Program are providing vital support to the most vulnerable people and helping social institutions maintain an adequate standard of nutrition.