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Ukraine conflict: receiving refugees in Moldova

Tatiana Sorocan, HelpAge International Country Director in Moldova, travelled with colleagues to visit one of the many refugee centres receiving Ukranian refugees in Moldova. She shares her first-hand account with us.

The Centre for Protection of Violence Survivors in the south of Moldova is normally a space set up as a temporary shelter for women survivors of domestic violence. It's now the first port of call for refugees arriving from Ukraine.

"For three days now, the Centre has hosted 30 refugees. Half of them left this morning for a future destination. Others are on the way and there will be more to come,” says Svetlana, the Director of the Centre for Protection.

“They are very traumatised and not ready to talk about their situation,” says Aliona, the Centre’s psychologist.

I met with four people who were staying in the Centre, along with their children.

“We are lucky to be here,” they all said unanimously.

“We are worried about our families. My older parents had to stay, says Marina, who fled with her young son.

Another woman, Lena, had arrived at the Centre with her two-week-old baby daughter in her arms. Her 75-year-old mother and 93-year-old grandmother were due to arrive later that day.

“I have convinced my mother and grandmother to come to Moldova, and the Centre has arranged accommodation for us together.” She smiled and seemed happy about this.

The biggest needs they all have right now are about longer-term shelter, and rapidly draining finances. On top of this, there is a huge need for psychological counselling for older people and children to restore their mental health.

Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal

Help provide life-saving support to older people and their families.

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Last updated: Mar 18 2022

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