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Hot Meals for Ukrainian Refugees: Food Aid Begins in Moldova


family enjoys a hot meal

Svetlana and her family enjoys a hot meal in Chisinau, Moldova on March 21.

On March 21, The Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) began providing food assistance to refugees who fled Ukraine to neighboring Moldova in the south. Akihiro Honma of AAR Tokyo Office reports from the capital city of Moldova, Chisinau.

At the request of the Moldovan government, the college dormitory in Chisinau has provided 20 rooms to Ukrainian refugees, and mostly10 to 20 people stay there. But there is no financial subsidy from the government. The dormitory staff provides the accommodation free of charge, and takes care of the refugees with the help of the neighbors. The biggest problem is meal. The refugees have no choice but to buy ingredients at a nearby supermarket by themselves and cook their own meals in the communal small kitchen. This means that the cramped kitchens become so crowded at meal times.

AAR, in coordination with the UN World Food Program (WFP), decided to provide food assistance to the Ukrainian refugees staying in this dormitory. On March 21, we provided a week’s worth of food along with hot meals. Foodstuffs included vegetables and fruits, meat and fish, dairy products, staples such as flour and pasta, cooking oil, and seasonings. Hot meals, which were prepared by a popular restaurant in the city, will be served as daily lunches. The menus are decided based on the requests of the refugees.

The menu on March 21st was as follows
For adults: sauteed pork, fried potatoes, chicken soup, cabbage salad
For children: chicken meatballs, potato puree, sweet bread, cheese crepes

Svetlana, who fled from Odesa in southern Ukraine with her mother and children, has been staying at this dormitory for two weeks. As the three of them gathered around the meal, Svetlana says, “I am tired both mentally and physically, so I really appreciate the hot meals. We will enjoy it deliciously.” And her son smiled.

family smiles over a hot meal

Another Ukrainian refugee family smiles over a hot meal (March 21, 2022)

Diana, who serves as the head of the dormitory, said, “We are grateful for the support from Japan. This support is a great help to us as hosts of refugees. If Ukrainian people know that food will be provided, more could be coming here. ”

A woman is standing by building

Diana, the dormitory director who is hosting the Ukrainian refugees

AAR is monitoring the situation at the shelters and the needs of the refugees. And we continues to provide food aid to the Ukrainian refugees in Moldova.

We ask for your understanding and cooperation in AAR’s support of Ukrainian refugees.

Please support AAR’s emergency assistance to Ukraine

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