Administrator Samantha Power visits Palanca border crossing and Stefan Voda region in Moldova | Press release
The following is attributable to spokesperson Rebecca Chalif:
Today, Administrator Power traveled to the Ukraine-Moldova border at Palanca, stopping first at a UNHCR blue dot refugee hosting area (UNHCR), then by going to the border post. She met UNHCR and International Organization for Migration (IOM) teams, as well as Moldovan volunteers and border guards, to discuss the humanitarian response at the border and contingency planning in case of disaster. increasing influx of refugees fleeing southern Ukraine. The Administrator also spoke with Ukrainians who had just crossed the border and heard the harrowing stories of the violence that has driven them from their homes as Vladimir Putin continues this senseless, brutal and unprovoked war.
Administrator Power then visited the Bed and Breakfast Casa Veche and spoke with the owners who hosted more than a hundred Ukrainian refugees. Casa Veche is one of many small businesses in the hospitality industry supporting Ukrainian refugees with food, accommodation and internet access. Administrator Power expressed appreciation for how local USAID-supported businesses are now leading a locally-led refugee support program. She then visited Farm-Prod, a fruit producer and exporter, to discuss the economic consequences of the war on the Moldovan agricultural sector. Administrator Power visited an apple cold store housing some of the country’s 120,000 tonnes of apples awaiting export. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused supply chain disruptions and closed the usual export market for Moldovan produce, including 98% of its fresh apple exports, and the group discussed the how USAID helps connect producers to new markets. The Administrator reaffirmed USAID’s long-term commitment to strengthening the Moldovan private sector and to working with the international community to further assist Moldovan businesses to overcome these immediate challenges. Administrator Power also visited a local restaurant where she met business owners and Ukrainian refugees, who described the heartbreaking consequences of Putin’s war of aggression.
The administrator concluded her day with a visit to the town of Stefan Voda to meet with Moldovan citizens and municipal leaders who have mobilized their community to help refugees in need. Mayor Vladislav Cociu led the administrator’s visit to Stefan Voda, a community supported by USAID’s Comunitatea Mea (My Community) program. They visited a local business that has transformed its warehouse into a community distribution center with food and other items donated to support local community members hosting refugees. Administrator Power expressed her deep appreciation for the leadership of the Mayor and those across Moldova who are at the forefront of grassroots refugee response efforts in the country.