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As a consequence of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine, the lives of millions of people changed overnight. Many Ukrainians were forced to leave their homes, being internally displaced or fleeing to neighbouring countries in search of safe shelter. Refugees had to leave behind their loved ones, as well as give up jobs, hobbies, and other things that their lives were made of.
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Yaroslav, 19, is a young man from Odessa who fled to the Republic of Moldova at the beginning of March 2022, together with his family. He is passionate about music, computers and accounting. The young musician has had an atypical development and multiple forms of disability, and the bombing and stress caused by the war has dramatically undermined his health. Before the war, thanks to therapy, Yaroslav was able to walk on his own, with a little help. Now, he uses a wheelchair again.
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As a part of continuous efforts for contributing to improving resilience of the most vulnerable groups against multiple crises, especially against the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermaths, UN Women initiated, at the end of 2021, the „Increasing the access of vulnerable women to food and essential supplies” project, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, financed by the Embassy Office of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Republic of Moldova.
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Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Moldova and Poland have received the highest number of refugees. As of 22 April, about 91 thousand Ukrainian refugees are residing across the different regions of Moldova. UN Women has been working with partners to gather, analyse and disseminate data to illustrate the differential and disproportionate impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on women and girls.
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The General Inspectorate of Border Police of MIA received a donation of 60 wheelchair and 40 walkers for people with reduced mobility or elderly people. The mobility equipment has been donated by UN Women Moldova with financial support from Sweden.
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On 24 February, Natalia, Irina and Cristina, three friends and mothers from Odessa, woke up to the sound of air raid sirens and explosions. Russia’s military offensive had begun. "Stress, danger and traffic jams, especially near military units... It was awful to see bags full of sand at checkpoints, tanks. I don't even remember the whole way to Moldova because I was very panicked," says Cristina, 41, who left Ukraine with her 18 and 3.5-year-old daughters. "After crossing the border, volunteers helped us with food and transportation. We are very grateful to the Moldovans,” says Cristina.
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The young people who participated in the first two editions of Gender Debates Café organised during March, are promoters of feminist values, actively working on the implementation of projects facilitating ideas exchange, enhancement of feminist movements image and the necessity to make them more visible both in their communities and at national level.
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They are determined and know that they can influence the political life in their hometowns or the villages where they live. We’re speaking about four participants in the Civic and Political Capacity Building Program for women with disabilities who decided to run in local elections in 2019.