Snow storm blasts Moldova: UN provides essential equipment as hundreds of villages without electricity

Apr 22, 2017

Around 400 villages in Moldova were without electricity over the weekend after a freak snowstorm pummeled the country, causing widespread disruptions and injuries and prompting the City Council to declare a state of emergency in the capital, where 3,000 trees fell between Thursday and Friday.

The United Nations - comprised of IOM, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF and UN WOMEN - moved immediately to provide $47,000 worth of electricity generators, fuel, chain saws and other equipment. This will enable authorities to provide access to electricity, ensure safety from damaged trees, and provide access to remote locations, some of them now completely isolated. The generators will be distributed in 12 affected districts and Chisinau municipality, and the chainsaws – in 10 districts and Chisinau.

"The priority is to assure the safety of people from immediate hazards, such as falling trees, as well as their continued access to running water and electricity," Dafina Gercheva, the UN Resident Coordinator said. "We are working with the authorities around the clock to make sure essential services remain in place."

Gercheva added that the risk of flooding remains as the snow begins to melt. As the weather warms, the immediate priority will therefore be clearing the snow.

Moldova has the highest vulnerability to climate change and disaster in the Europe and Central Asia region, with average annual economic losses averaging 2 percent of GDP. These risks are affecting primarily the rural poor and women.

In 2007, the UN in Moldova coordinated a prompt response to cope with a severe drought, which compromised the harvest in over 80 per cent of Moldova’s agricultural lands. With UN Support, over 383,000 drought victims received wheat seeds, fertilizers, diesel fuel, fodder, corn seeds, and food packs.

Contact information

Laura Bohantova, Communications Analyst
Office of the Resident Coordinator
Tel: (+373 22) 269 112, 220 045
Cell: (+373) 68 511 883

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