More than 1,300 children from vulnerable communities in Romania have received vouchers to buy food during the coronavirus pandemic.
World Vision Romania, part of the international non-governmental organization, said the youngsters from the northern county of Vaslui, the southern counties of Dolj and Valcea, and the northwestern county of Cluj received food tickets worth 180 lei (38 euros) in the run-up to Easter, which most Romanians celebrate this Sunday.
The group distributed the food-only vouchers to 26 villages, allocating funds from its “Bread and Tomorrow” program which helps 1,100 children and its “School after School” project which offers support to 200 children.
The World Bank said in a report that poverty will rise during the health crisis, with 15% of adult employees at risk of becoming financially vulnerable due to factors such as joblessness.
“I have two (young) children who are in the “Bread and Tomorrow,” program _ Constantin and Ana-Maria. I am a housewife and my husband has day jobs, but there’s no work for him at the moment.”
“These vouchers are a blessing for us as is any other help; it’s very difficult for us to buy food,” said an unnamed mother from the village of Rafaila in Vaslui county.
World Vision said one in 11 children in Romanian villages goes to bed hungry. It set up the “Child welfare in rural areas,” in 2018. It said that the situation had become “desperate” during the pandemic.
World Vision is an international non-government organization that works to eliminate poverty worldwide.
World Vision said it helps more than 14,000 children and 7,000 families in its programs.