Administrator Samantha Power Visits Palanca Border Crossing and the Stefan Voda Region in Moldova

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For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 7, 2022
Office of Press Relations
press@usaid.gov

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Rebecca Chalif:‎

Today, Administrator Power visited the Ukraine-Moldova border in Palanca, first stopping at a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) blue dot refugee reception area and then traveling to the border crossing. She met with UNHCR and the 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 the event of an increased surge of refugees fleeing southern Ukraine. The Administrator also spoke with Ukrainians who had just crossed the border and heard the wrenching stories of the violence that drove them from their homes as Vladimir Putin continues this senseless, brutal, and unprovoked war. 

Administrator Power then visited the Casa Veche Bed and Breakfast and spoke with the owners who have taken in more than one hundred Ukrainian refugees. Casa Veche is one of the many small businesses in the hospitality industry supporting Ukrainian refugees by providing food, lodging, and internet access. Administrator Power conveyed appreciation for how USAID-supported local businesses are now leading a locally-driven refugee support program. She then traveled to Farm-Prod, a fruit producer and exporter to discuss the economic consequences of the war on Moldova’s agriculture sector. Administrator Power toured an apple cold storage facility housing some of the country’s 120,000 tons of apples that are awaiting export. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused supply chain disruptions and shuttered the usual export market for Moldovan produce, including 98% of its fresh apple exports, and the group discussed how USAID is helping connect producers to new markets. The Administrator reaffirmed USAID’s long-term commitment to bolstering Moldova’s private sector and working with the international community to further assist Moldovan businesses in overcoming these immediate challenges. Administrator Power also visited a local restaurant where she met with 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 assist refugees in need. Mayor Vladislav Cociu led the Administrator’s tour of 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 donated items to support local community members who are hosting refugees. Administrator Power expressed her deep appreciation for the Mayor’s leadership and those throughout Moldova who are at the forefront of the country’s grassroots refugee response efforts. 

Last updated: June 20, 2022

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