In Romania, food relief to support the poorest in front of the crisis


While Romania has been in a state of emergency for more than a month due to the COVID-19 crisis, the most fragile populations find themselves completely destitute. The inhabitants of the slum of Satmarel, in the north-west of the country, are among the most vulnerable and their daily lives are heavily impacted. To support them, we set up emergency food relief, in collaboration with Stea our local partner.

The poorest country in the European Union, Romania is facing the COVID-19 pandemic with great firmness. Faced with health risks, the government declared a state of emergency on March 16, thereby reducing the Romanian’s travel possibilities to the maximum, and by that, their possibilities of carrying out income-generating activities. Thus, precarious populations find themselves isolated and destitute. This is the case of the inhabitants of the Satmarel slum, whom we are supporting for two years.

Over a hundred families rescued

At this moment, our local partner, the Stea association, quickly mobilized to analyze the needs of the community in this context of health crisis. As a first step, remote support by phone and internet was set up for families, as well as a permanence to continue to ensure the distribution of medicines to those who need them.

We have now started a second phase of support with emergency food relief. “We distributed 105 packages containing potatoes, rice, sunflower oil, canned meat, as well as hygiene products for the inhabitants of the slum, explains Cristina Bala, director of the association Stea. For families with school-aged children we have added notebooks and pens and a little cookie or chocolate. The distribution went well, everyone was calm and we felt that there was a real relationship of trust with the team.

An operation supported by local authorities

Thanks to collaborative work with local authorities, for the logistics aspect concerning the preparation and distribution of packages, Stea was able to count on twenty employees from the Social Assistance Department of the Town Hall of Satu Mare. The latter also made available two trucks to provide transportation to the camp. In addition, the police who accompanied the operation to ensure compliance with the rules of containment, did not have to intervene.

Once there, we identified 35 additional people who needed support,” said Cristina. We will therefore buy more food and essential supplies and distribute them as soon as possible. “