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Impact of COVID-19 &

Vulnerable populations

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed several populations already at risk to additional socio-economic marginalization; this requires specific attention in the response. The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) has identified several vulnerable groups at high risk of being left behind and at the same time suffering from multiple vulnerabilities during the emergency.


  • Women, including survivors of domestic violence, single mothers and women with pre-school-aged children
  • Returning migrants and migrants under informal working conditions, asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons
  • Persons in prison and other detention facilities
  • Front line workers (health care workers first)
  • Ethno-linguistic minorities, including the Roma community
  • Persons with disabilities, and persons with mental health conditions
  • Children, adolescents, and youth, especially girls and young women including those in institutions and youth not in employment, education and training (NEET youth)
  • Adults and children in institutionalized settings (e.g. persons in psychiatric care, drug rehabilitation centres, old age homes, and institutions for persons with disabilities)
  • Groups that are particularly vulnerable and marginalized because laws, policies and practices do not protect them from discrimination and exclusion (e.g. lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people)
  • People in extreme poverty, unemployed, seasonal workers, persons facing insecure and informal work and incomes, including as a result of loss or decline of income from remittances, or returning from abroad following the loss of job or income
  • Small farmers, rural workers in informal and formal markets, and other people living in remote rural areas as well as urban informal sector and self-employed who depend on the market for food
  • Persons living with HIV and AIDS and other people with pre-existing and/or chronic medical conditions
  • Persons who use drugs and persons who are undergoing drug dependency treatment
  • Freelancers and small entrepreneurs
  • Older persons

Assessments conducted by the United Nations entities

Health first
Protecting people
Economic Impact
Multisectoral assessments
Social cohesion

Health first assessments planned and completed to date

Needs Assessment of the Health System in Moldova to respond to the COVID-19 crisis
completed in March 2020
Rapid assessment of front-line workers’ needs in non-health related public agencies (police, border police, penitentiaries, Transnistria Region)
completed in April 2020 and ongoing
Rapid assessment for organizations supporting people with HIV
completed in May 2020