Chisinau, 18 March 2013 – The Republic of Moldova has been a priority country of Austrian Development Cooperation since 2004. "Since 1997, Austria has provided development cooperation services worth 22 million euros", Austrian State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka explained during his visit to Chisinau. "ADA, the Austrian Agency for Development Cooperation, provided 10.6 million euros of these funds for projects in Moldova." The focus of the activities is on water and effluent management, vocational training and good governance. "The opening of our new embassy in Chisinau underlines the importance of our involvement in Moldova", Lopatka continued. "We are planning to also use other tools of development cooperation in Moldova, such as economic partnerships, NGO co-financing and Development Bank loans."
Austria's development cooperation efforts include investments in communal infrastructure – e.g. water supply and waste water disposal – with the aim of strengthening public utility companies. "We are cooperating closely with Switzerland in Moldova whose Headquarters for Development Cooperation are located close to the Austrian coordination office", Lopatka aid. "One example of Austro-Swiss cooperation is the Nispreni water project that is co-financed by the EU. The volume of this project is 11.3 million euros and Austria's contribution amounts to 3.5 million."
During his stay in Moldova, the State Secretary also visited the Institute of Oncology in Chisinau, where 40 of the 500 beds are reserved for children suffering from cancer. Up until now, it has been impossible to cater to the specific needs of the young patients due to a lack of equipment and lack of knowledge about pedagogic therapies and teaching measures. "This is going to change now thanks to the support granted by Austria", Lopatka said. "The transfer of know-how to specialised teaching and medical staff will ensure better care for children". More than 20 doctors and nurses are being trained at the St. Anna Children's Hospital in Vienna and in Timisoara, Romania.
Lopatka also visited a social centre founded by Father Sporschill and the Concordia Foundation in the community of Dubasari Vechi. The centre offers day care for destitute old people from the surrounding communities. Austria made 3 million euros available to support the poorest people in Moldova. "It is planned to expand capacities in social care and to operate soup kitchens and social centres throughout Moldova."
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