COVID response: Social protection
Economy of Moldova was caught unprepared to COVID-19 pandemic. The measures introduced to contain the spread of pandemic have had massive socio-economic impact and further deepened the pre-existing inequalities.
A significant part of employees in Moldova work in at-risk sectors. This includes areas like arts, recreation, accommodation and food services, real estate, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and vehicle repair.
Informality in Moldova also remains of great concern, leaving the active labour force at risk with limited protection or access to government-supported measures in the immediate downturn.
The COVID-19 crisis is also affecting the working migrants in Moldova. The imposition of quarantine measures and closure of businesses led thousands living in Russia and Europe to lose jobs. In addition, with countries tightening control at their borders and introducing freedom of movement restrictions, working migrants cannot return to their home countries. This has already led to a drop in remittances, a key factor in economic support to many people.
As an immediate response, UNDP has been supporting Moldova in providing the necessary information and personal protection supplies for the most vulnerable, including the elderly, minorities, and people with disabilities.
Now, we are exploring the magnitude of the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on households, businesses and communities. These socio-economic assessments also help to identify the new vulnerable, informal workers, returnees from abroad and workers without standard employment contracts who fall outside of the social protection system, as well as institutional and systemic gaps to help chart the way forward to an inclusive and better recovery.
The prolonged period of underinvestment, informality, and changing demographics exacerbate strains on social protection, health and other care systems.
The global nature of the pandemic has impacted production networks, supply and value chains and substantially restricted activity in sectors such as agriculture, transport, tourism and hospitality, wholesale and retail trade and industry. Small- and medium-enterprises are faced with challenges of adapting to new business models requiring new skills and focusing on remote work arrangements, digital methods and on-line processes.
Skills mismatches have been one of the main challenges for private sector-led growth across Moldova, so adopting new techniques and skills development will figure strongly in our recovery policies.
To mitigate the negative impact on the economy in the immediate term, UNDP has been working on new solutions to skills development to ensure business continuity during the lockdown and to support the transition to risk-resilient, sustainable production and consumption practices.