Switzerland works in the Republic of Moldova to increase the capacities and  quality of public services and to ensure equitable access, particularly for the rural population and disadvantaged groups. Core themes are health and water, but Switzerland is also active in the domain of migration.

Map of Moldova

Since declaring independence in 1991, the Republic of Moldova has been undergoing a process of transition towards democracy and a free market economy. That process is being hampered, however, by the blocking of reforms, the conflict over the secession of Transnistria, and political turmoil. Since the accession of Romania to the EU in 2007, the Republic of Moldova, Europe’s poorest country, has shared a border with the EU.

Switzerland works in the Republic of Moldova to support the transition process, helping to increase the capacities and improve the quality of public services and to ensure that, in particular, the rural population and disadvantaged groups receive equitable access to those services. The primary focus is on the thematically related domains of health and water. Thanks to many years of effective efforts in the country, Switzerland has succeeded in establishing a solid basis of trust in its relations with all of its partners, including both the general population and the public authorities of the Republic of Moldova.


Health system reforms

A decline in the general state of health of the country’s population during the transition period that followed independence is reflected in all of the current health indicators. Thus, for example, Moldova today has the lowest life expectancy at birth in all of Europe.

Switzerland provides support for health system reforms at the local, regional and national levels. The main focus of this assistance is on promoting health and preventing non-communicable diseases (cardio-vascular and acute respiratory disorders, cancer, diabetes). Switzerland is also supporting reforms in mental health care within community health services. Important advocacy work is also being done to ensure that the reforms and health policies are coherent and inclusive. 



Drinking water supply and sanitary facilities

Approximately one half of the population in Moldova is connected to the drinking water supply system; only some 5% of the rural population have access to the public sewage system. For this reason, Switzerland is constructing sustainable, affordable and easily replicable drinking water and sanitary facilities that can serve as models. The local authorities and population are assigned an important role in the management of these facilities, so that they can gradually assume full responsibility for them. At the national level, Switzerland is working to promote facilitating legislation, knowledge and technology transfer, and vocational education and training in the water sector.

Within the framework of the Swiss Water and Sanitation Project in Moldova (ApaSan), Switzerland has successfully introduced decentralised water-supply models that are managed by local consumer groups (Water Consumer Associations, WCA), specially created for that purpose. A further outcome of this project was the introduction of ‘ecosan’ dry toilets, which were installed with great success in schools and have since come into use in private households as well.


Migration and development

Using synergies in the health and water domains

Switzerland identifies and develops innovative initiatives in the field of migration, which are designed to mitigate negative impacts and promote positive outcomes. It supports the National Development Strategy ‘Moldova 2020’ and makes strong use of synergies that arise out of the work in its core intervention domains of health and water. In the health domain, this includes such things as providing psychological and social assistance for young people and the elderly whose family members have found work abroad. In the water domain, opportunities are being sought to exploit the potential of Moldavan migrants for the development of their home villages.

Approach and partners

Switzerland’s development cooperation activities are closely coordinated with the local authorities, other donor countries and international organisations such as the UN and the EU. As a leading donor country in the water sector, the SDC maintains a strategic partnership with the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). All programmes incorporate the principles of good governance and gender equality.

Switzerland’s main partners in the Republic of Moldova are:

  • Swiss NGOs; Helvetas-Swiss Intercooperation, Swisscontact, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Terre des Hommes, Save the Children
  • National partners: Ministries, city and community authorities, social and professional organisations, private sector and local NGOs
  • Bilateral and multilateral partners: Germany (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, KfW; Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ), Austria (Austrian Development Agency, ADA), Sweden, Council of Europe, World Bank Group, World Health Organization (WHO), UN Development Programme (UNDP), European Union (EU), United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF ), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)


Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 13

Contribution to Confidence Building Measures Program in Transnistria – Promoting Confidence in the Health Sector

01.03.2016 - 31.07.2019

Population living in Transnistria has limited access to quality maternal and child health care. The vaccination coverage rate is declining and the number of premature and underweight newborns is increasing. The project aims to approximate maternal and child health care in Transnistria to international standards, as well as to improve the access to and quality of maternal and child health services at secondary and primary level. A special focus is put on nutrition and immunization. The project offers good opportunities for building trust across borders through common trainings of professionals and concerted efforts on immunization.

Support to Strengthening Governance and Policy Dialogue in Health Sector in Moldova

01.12.2015 - 31.05.2019

Moldova's health sector reform agenda is ambitious and needs strong steering by the Ministry of Health and adequate capacities of key national health institutions. This project supports the production and use of evidence, the revision of policy documents and institutional capacity building, thus contributing to setting a favourable environment for health reforms and strong synergies with the policy components of all SDC health projects.

Promoting lnclusiveness through Civil Society Advocacy in Moldova

01.12.2015 - 30.06.2021

The poor, the elderly, people with disabilities, sexual minorities, women, and Roma are among the most disadvantaged groups of Moldovan society. They face discrimination and violence, limited access to health services, education, and economic opportunities, and a bw representation in politics and decision-making. The project aims at strengthening clvii society groups, enabling them to play a critical role in promoting and safeguarding the rights and interests of the vulnerabie and exciuded.

Water and Sanitation in Moldova

01.06.2015 - 31.05.2019

In Moldova, a majority of people living in rural areas lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation. To improve this situation, the project will establish decentralised water supply Systems and environmental sanitation facilities. The experience is then anchored in sector institutions by fostering their capacity, streamlining internal procedures, and handing over the lead in the implementation. In total, 60'000 people will have access to sustainable an improved water and 26'000 people to ecological toilets.

Reducing the Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in Moldova

01.01.2015 - 30.06.2020

In Moldova, a quarter of the population dies of a Non-Communicable Disease (NCD), such as cardio-vascular disease, before reaching the age of 70. The quality of life of people affected by NCDs is very low, as the health system lacks the capacities to tackle NCDs effectively. The project strengthens primary healthcare service providers’ capacities to better organize care together with social services. Better health will be promoted through engaging communities and local authorities in common actions for NCD prevention and promotion of healthy behaviors.

Youth Friendly Health Services in Moldova

01.11.2014 - 31.10.2018

In Moldova, young people face various health challenges which are currently not adequately addressed by health services. To improve this situation, Youth Friendly Health Services started as pilots in 2005 and are being scaled-up by the Ministry of Health since 2011, with the support of SDC. The project is focused on improving the quality and enhancing the comprehensiveness of the services, as well as on the community support for young people to adopt a healthier lifestyle and seek assistance from health services.

Contribution to the Improvement of Water and Sanitation Services through Integrated Regional Planning in Moldova

10.06.2014 - 30.06.2018

Many localities in Moldova suffer from low level of water and sanitation public services. By joining the ongoing “Modernization of local public services“ program designed to reduce regional disparities in service delivery, SDC has the opportunity to up-scale its successful decentralized water and sanitation models through integrated regional platforms. SDC will support the water supply infrastructure in 3 villages in the south of Moldova and the capacity building of local and regional water supply service providers.

Contribution for the Population and Housing Census in Moldova

01.03.2014 - 31.12.2017

The only population census in Moldova after independence was carried out in 2004. The second census is to be held in 2014. Considering the weak capacities of the National Bureau of Statistics in this area, the Government of Moldova requested external support. The population and household census will provide the Government of Moldova with much needed data for informed policy-making. It will also provide SDC with sound bases for shaping the new programme on Migration & Development and ensuring a more efficient planning, implementation and steering of the Water and Health programmes. 

Strengthening the Institutional Framework in the Water and Sanitation Sector in Moldova

01.03.2014 - 31.08.2019

Poor governance is the key bottleneck in the Moldovan water sector, which jeopardizes long-term sustainability of past investments, and hinders new Investments to extend access to drinking water for all. With this project, SDC will improve the steering and management of the sector as well as the performance of key sector institutions, through working directly with the national institutions on sector capacity development, integrated water resource management, and a comprehensive water information system.

Moldova - Making the Most of Migration

15.01.2014 - 31.12.2018

Moldova pays great social costs as a result of high outward migration. The potential benefits of migration remain underexploited. Migrants are not involved in the development of their home communities, they do not have access to trusted investment opportunities, and the private sector fails to develop tailor-made products and services for migrants. Switzerland supports Moldova in creating a favorable environment for leveraging migrants' human and financial capital for the development of their home country.

Regionalization of the Pediatric Emergency and Intensive Care Services in Moldova

01.11.2013 - 30.04.2018

Despite improvement over the last years, the infant mortality rate in Moldova is still more than double compared to the European Union average. With this project Switzerland is pursuing the support to the Republic of Moldova aiming at increasing the efficiency of the pediatric emergency healthcare in Moldova. At the end of the project, all children aged 0-18 in Moldova will have access to high quality pediatric emergency services. In addition, awareness on how to prevent accidents and on the correct procedures in case of an emergency will be raised at the community level.

Support to the Reform of Mental Health Services in Moldova

15.05.2013 - 31.07.2018

Mental health disorders represent a high burden of disease in Moldova. In 2010, the Ministry of Health (MoH) took systematic and adequate steps to launch a profound reform in this health sub-sector, showing a strong political commitment. With this project, Switzerland is supporting the efforts of the Republic of Moldova towards the improvement of the well-being of mental health service users through access to functional community level Primary Mental Health Care Services.

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