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 increased difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 have found themselves isolated and destitute. This is the case of the inhabitants of the Satmarel slum, whom Aide et Action has been supporting for two years.
Over a hundred families supported
From the onset of the outbreak and emergency measures, our local partner, the Stea Association, quickly mobilized to analyze the needs of the community. As a first step, remote support by phone and internet was set up for families, as well as 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 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 two trucks available 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. “