HEKS/EPER is improving the social and economic situation of rural dwellers in the Republic of Moldova on three levels, namely by boosting the incomes of small farmers, improving access to home care services for the elderly, and empowering communities so that they can take charge of their own local development.
The Republic of Moldova is Europe's poorest country and ranks 139th worldwide with an annual gross domestic product of US$1,740. Placed 114th in the Human Development Index, the Republic of Moldova is also Europe's least developed country. There are also appreciable disparities between urban and rural areas, with the latter having benefited less from the modest economic growth of recent years.
Widespread rural poverty has led, over the past few years, to large-scale migration of the rural population to the capital Chisinau and abroad, mostly to Russia and Italy. One in three persons in rural areas has emigrated in recent years. This lack of prospects is driving mainly young and educated people to migrate, with serious consequences for those remaining behind. Agriculture is suffering from a shortage of labour, it is marked by outdated cultivation and production methods, it must grapple with structural problems and low competitiveness despite fertile land and a well-suited topography. The older generation who are unable to work are falling between two stools, as younger family members have migrated and the state social welfare system is unable to provide the necessary access to social and health care services. It is not possible to grow old with dignity in such circumstances.
Objectives and priorities
The HEKS/EPER Moldova country programme is geared towards these social groups, older people in need and small farmers, and is striving to strengthen rural communities so that they can drive local development.
The country programme aims at improving the living conditions for people in the rural areas of the Republic of Moldova. The focus on the rural areas addresses the disparities and inequalities in development of urban and rural areas in Moldova. The program plans to achieve the goal through three program pillars:
Increased income of small and medium scale farmers through market development in agricultural sectors: The interventions applying a market system change approach strive for sustainable market changes through mobilizing and organizing farmers; facilitating access to knowledge, inputs, services, and finances. In combination with a better access to market based on interventions improving post-harvest management, processing and marketing this shall lead to an increase of income of farmers.
Improved access to integrated home care services for elderly people: addresses the needs of one of the most vulnerable groups in rural Moldova, elderly people in need of social and medical services. The program sets on the model of integrated home care services provided by its partner CASMED. Aiming at sustainable impact beyond the project’s direct beneficiaries the program applies a Human Rights Based Approach and puts an increased accent on advocacy towards duty bearers on regional and national level.
Empowered rural communities through (i) enhanced capacities of local civil society and LPAs, (ii) cooperation to jointly solve community problems and (iii) access to funds: This outcome addresses a main constraint for development of rural areas in Moldova which is the lack of a strong and organized local civil society and an effective cooperation with the Local Public Authorities. HEKS/EPER plans its community empowerment interventions to be compatible with relevant EU policies and models applied Europe-wide.
If you have further questions
Swiss Church Aid (HEKS/EPER)
Phone: +41 44 360 88 10