In Romania, food aid to support the poorest in the crisis
28 April 2020

Photo credit: Sarah Hadrane/Stea

While Romania has been in a state of emergency for more than a month due to the COVID-19 crisis, the most vulnerable population has been left totally destitute. The inhabitants of the Satmarel shanty town, in the north-west of the country, are among the most vulnerable and their daily life is heavily impacted. To support them, we have set up emergency food aid, in collaboration with Stea, our local partner. 

Romania, the poorest country in the European Union, is facing the COVID-19 pandemic with great firmness. Faced with the health risk, the government declared a state of emergency on 16 March, thus reducing the possibilities for Romanians to move around as much as possible, and with it, their possibilities to carry out income-generating activities. The precarious populations are thus isolated and deprived. This is the case of the inhabitants of the Satmarel shantytown that we have been supporting for two years.

Over 100 families rescued 

As we stated in a previous articleour local partner, the Stea associationIn the first instance, remote support for families by telephone and internet was set up, as well as a hotline to continue to provide support to families. Initially, remote telephone and internet support was set up for the families, as well as a permanent presence to continue to ensure the drug distribution to those who need it.  

Now we have started a second phase of support with emergency food aid. " NoWe distributed 105 parcels containing potatoes, rice, sunflower oil, canned meat and hygiene products for the slum dwellersexplains Cristina Bala, director of the Stea association. For families with school-age children we have added notebooks and pens and some biscuits or chocolate. The distribution went wellEveryone was calm and we felt that there was a real relationship of trust with the team. "

An operation supported by the local authorities 

Thanks to the collaboration with the local authorities, for the logistical aspect of the preparation and distribution of the packages, Stea was able to count on some twenty employees of the Social Assistance Department of the Satu Mare Town Hall. The latter also made two trucks available for transport to the camp. Furthermore, the police, who accompanied the operation to ensure that the rules of confinement were respected, did not have to intervene.  

" Once there, we identified 35 more people who needed supportsays Cristina. We will therefore buy more food and basic supplies and distribute them as soon as possible. " 



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