47% of the population of R. Moldova constitutes a vulnerable social group

47% of the population of the Republic of Moldova constitute a vulnerable social group and barely eke out a living. If the incomes of the poor increase, this is due to remittances. The data are contained in “Unequal Moldova” Study, presented at an IPN press conference.

According to Alina Andronache, in charge of Public Relations and Advocacy at the Partnership for Development Centre, inequalities in the Republic of Moldova persist in relation to vulnerable categories of people, which means that public policies are a total fiasco. Authorities should rethink their priorities and how they fund them, the activist said.

The study shows that most affected by poverty are the elderly, especially women. 55% of households with people with disabilities say that water and sewerage services are very expensive for them, while for Roma this figure accounts for 66%. Farmers are also in a difficult situation. “Although we are considered an agricultural country, farmers have not recorded any revenue since 2006, which means that farmers’ earnings are non-monetary. They do not benefit from social allowances, they have informal incomes and they do not receive remittances”, concludes Alina Andronache.

From territorial point of view, the study notes a difference in terms of life expectancy in different districts. For example, in 2017 life expectancy in Soldanesti was of 68 years, while in Edineț of 74 years. In 2010-2017, the average life expectancy in Calarasi district increased by 5 years, in Leova only by one year. The situation is influenced by the quality of medical services, demographic indices, living conditions. “This shows that national policies are not adjusted to the local level and to the real problems of the people,” says the activist.

As for gender equality, women continue to be a vulnerable group in practically all areas. 17% of women answered that it would be a big problem for them to buy medicine worth 200 lei because they had no money, and 37% – because they did not have enough money. 42% do not go to a doctor even if they need to. About 16% do not go to the hospital regardless of the problem due to lack of time or financial means. Similarly, women are more often subjected to different forms of violence. One of the reasons is that many victims feel that it is ok to tolerate violence in order to avoid divorce.

Men remain a vulnerable group due to alcohol and tobacco abuse.

Elena Sîrbu, the representative of the Voice of the Roma Coalition, notes that the lack of revenues among the Roma confirms their unemployment and, consequently, they have no medical insurance. Only 42% of Roma people have an insurance policy, compared to 72% of non-Roma people. Roma do not go to the doctor because they have no money. The data in the report shows the lack of willingness of the local public administration to involve the Roma in the decision making process. 21% of Roma say they are ready to participate in community decision making. Elena Sîrbu argues that, in order to improve their lives, the authorities should at least implement the National Plan for the support of the Roma community 2016-2020.

Olga Lîsenco, representative of the Alliance of Organizations for People with Disabilities, noted that people with disabilities have lower incomes compared to other social groups. 75% of the income of persons with disabilities accounts only for social benefits. They are less involved in decision making. People with disabilities seldom seek medical services, one of the reasons being the lack of sufficient financial means. The problem is more common in the rural areas. Olga Lîsenco also says that people with disabilities do not know their rights. The Alliance recommends the development of support services for people with disabilities and assisted employment.

The report was made within the framework of “Joint Equal Opportunity Initiative” project, implemented by the East Europe Foundation together with the Partnership for Development Centre, from the resources provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).