In the COVID-19 response UN Women Moldova and Sweden support local businesses run by women

Sweden and UN Women Moldova provided 28,000 units of protective equipment to social assistance staff from 36 territorial departments throughout the country. The coveralls and masks were purchased from three local companies run by women. Thus, the procurements provided financial support both to factories and to employees who kept their jobs and salaries during this time of crisis provoked by COVID-19. At the same time, textile enterprises took steps to help front-line workers.

Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2020

‘We haven’t planned for it and I think nobody has planned for such pandemic worldwide. It was a difficult decision to take because of the high accountability for the staff. We organized a meeting and agreed to start working. We made 100,000 units of protective coveralls. As a company we take responsibility for everything we do, and we guarantee the quality of this product’- shared the Director of a local company Lilia Ranogaet.

As an engineer in the textile industry Irina Zabolotnaia presented the protective coveralls that she elaborated: ” One faces certain difficulties in clothing construction. Once you get to know the issue better, questions start arising. For example, the appropriate sizes and proportions of the coveralls to be comfortable to work wearing them, not to forget that the life of a human being is at stake’.

‘Efforts need to be made and we need to work as fast as we can for the benefit of the people, for doctors, for everyone” – mentioned Ilie Bivol, a sewer that works in this company.

According to the director of another textile company that adjusted rapidly the business , the need for protective suits and masks was an opportunity to continue their work.

‘We understood very well that unless we adjusted the business to the new realities, we would run into financial issues and wouldn’t make it through this period of inactivity because our basic orders were stopped. We worked against the clock; we understood that we had to come up in record time with a product that would meet both the sanitary and medical requirements. Most of our staff members are women and of course this was very important for their families because they had work and earned salaries’ – said Evelina Zara the Director of another company.

The designer Ina Pesterean is proud that together with her colleagues she contributed to the support provided to the front-liners: ‘I was glad to be able to help them save the situation in the country, at the same time we were glad to be able to work and help people, it was a twofold happiness’.

UN Women with the financial support of Sweden set the aim not only to donate protective equipment to social workers from various regions in the country but also to support businesses run by women and develop the national economy.

‘Each of us filled in a form confirming our willingness to work during the pandemic in order to help doctors, police officers and other front-line workers. During the process, the Director told us we had to design disposable protective suits. In the first days the productivity was not as we expected but eventually we got to produce 17,000 masks a day. I saw our protective coveralls on the news and felt so proud. Like when we used to see men wearing our suits and ladies wearing our coats and dresses throughout the country, now we are proud to be able to help doctors’ - said Inga Gavrilita, the Chief Engineer at the local clothing factory.

UN Women also ensured the transportation of the equipment to every district of the country through local companies in order to reach the final beneficiaries. The total value of the assistance provided in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic via UN Women Moldova with the financial support from Sweden amounts presently to USD 215 thousand.