The novel coronavirus is suspected to have first reached the Republic of Moldova on 7 March 2020. From there the number of infections started to rise, which led Parliament to declare the state of emergency on 17 March 2020. The first death from COVID-19 was registered a day later, on 18 March 2020. As of the end of December, there have been more than 2,800 deaths. This initial state of emergency lasted a total of 60 days, until 15 May 2020. A second state of emergency was declared the next day, to last until 30 June 2020. Schools switched to online-lessons and broadcast content on TV for those without an internet connection. Restrictions were put in place on local public transport and international travel. Some financial support was provided to individuals and businesses, such as increasing unemployment benefits and postponing interest on loans.

Socio-economic Impact Assessment

The methodology for this socio-economic impact assessment is based on rapid assessment principles and aimed to capture the multi-dimensional effects of COVID-19, drawing on both quantitative and qualitative analysis.

The study started by analysing a comprehensive list of vulnerable groups and a complete picture of economic sectors narrowing the selection of the in-scope vulnerable groups and economic sectors through activities like research based on public data, consultations and interviews with relevant stakeholders and analysis of impact assessment questionnaires.

Secondary data research identified available data and the key indicators to be analysed, for setting the initial baseline and capturing the initial in-crisis impact. Based on the trends observed and impact severity of selected key indicators, high-level preliminary policy recommendations and measures were developed.

For primary data research a survey with a representative sample was undertaken and discussions were held with experts and NGOs/associations. 

For more details, consult the methodology report


The framework for assessing the social-economic impact of COVID-19 draws on the UN’s socio-economic impact assessment (SEIA) toolkit in conceptualizing the incremental impact of the pandemic from a multi-dimensional perspective. Five core dimensions are structured into an analysis framework:

  1. Quarantine Status – Understanding the knowledge and attitudes of the population in light of the pandemic development, as well as reflecting on the pandemic response, as shaped by shared vulnerabilities and individual constraints
  2. Employment, Sources of Livelihood and Expenditures – Gauging directly the economic and financial impact on the vulnerable groups, as well as estimation of the damage to the labor market, both in formal and informal sectors
  3. Access to Foods and Basic Services – Observing the household’s access to – and impact of COVID-19 on food procurement and basic services like education, health, and access to water and sanitation
  4. Coping Strategies – Evaluating the in-crisis behaviours of households and their channels of adaption
  5. Prospects and Recovery Needs – Understanding the priorities and even imperatives needed for recovery, and setting up the foundation informing the policy response

Top level insights from the analysis

  • “Personal Health” was the top priority for households during the pandemic
  • Twenty percent of respondents lost their job during the pandemic
  • Vulnerable women and Freelancers were the groups facing the highest decrease in income
  • All vulnerable groups stated that they struggled to cover monthly expenses and were concerned about food availability, with poor households and the elderly most affected
  • All vulnerable groups reported more difficult access to healthcare
  • Almost half of respondents continued to work on site during the pandemic, only 23% switched to fully remote work
  • All groups reported difficulties in organising remote learning for their children, and 21% of vulnerable women were not able to organise this at all
  • Of the respondents 7% reported instances of domestic violence against children, with another 5% unwilling to answer the question 
  • Domestic violence against children was mostly psychological, followed by financial and physical violence. Seven percent of respondents reported sexual violence against children. Self-reporting bias means that these numbers are likely higher than reported. 
  • Only 50% of domestic violence cases filed an official report, 82% were aware of how to do so
  • More than half the respondents were aware of how to receive counselling 

Explore the SEIA household data

Accommodation & work
COVID symptoms
Daily life
Financial status
Food & water


The analysis started by looking at an extensive range of economic sectors, then narrowing these down to five main economic sectors and two social sectors, based on research and stakeholder’s consultation. For the economic sectors selection, an impact scale was used taking into consideration three relevant indicators: GDP weight, number of employees and COVID-19 impact (integrating two sub-indicators: impact severity and recovery prospects).

Top level insights from the analysis

  • High levels of uncertainty were regarded as the largest challenge during the pandemic with bureaucratic barriers being named second most frequently
  • Most companies said that personnel evolution will most likely stagnate in the next months
  • The remaining companies were more likely to say that personnel would reduce rather than increase
  • More than half of employees were affected in some way, being offered leave, applying for technical unemployment or being dismissed
  • In order to deal with the impact of the pandemic, companies were most likely to cut costs and postpone investments 

Explore the SEIA business data

Business model
Company status
Financial performance
Future of the business
Health and safety
Impact on sales

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The COVID-19 Data Futures Platform is a project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). UNDP works to eradicate poverty while protecting the planet. We help countries develop strong policies, skills, partnerships and institutions so they can sustain their progress.


This platform is powered by data from:
World Health Organization
Government of Japan