The United States on Sunday announced a $50 million aid package to help Moldova deal with the effects of the Ukrainian refugee crisis.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said in a statement that the funding will support programs, training and equipment for border management and efforts to counter human trafficking.
The funds will also be used to combat corruption and cybercrime in Moldova, a former Soviet nation of about 3.3 million people that borders Ukraine. More than 392,000 Ukrainians have fled to Moldova since Russia invaded the country in February.
“Today, I was able to see firsthand the way your government and the Moldovan people have come together to embrace Ukrainian refugees, most of them women and children, who have been forced to leave behind everything they have and people they love to flee to safety,” Thomas-Greenfield said at a joint press conference in Chisinau.
“You have welcomed them with open arms. And for this, your hospitality and generosity are now known around the world. I want you to know that, in all your efforts, you have a committed partner in the United States. We know that this assistance will go far in your hands.”
Thomas-Greenfield also visited a refugee center in Moldova on Sunday where refugees can access food and other critical supplies.Her visit came as Ukraine’s Defense Ministry accused Russian forces of executing civilians in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.
Last month, Interpol said that the international law enforcement agency sent a team to support Moldova officials with investigations into reports of human trafficking of Ukrainian refugees and other crimes.
Interpol said it has already received reports of human traffickers and smugglers waiting at Moldova’s border with Ukraine “to prey on vulnerable populations” like unaccompanied children fleeing the Russian invasion.
More than 4.1 million refugees have fled Ukraine with the majority crossing the border into Poland, about 2.4 million. It is not known how many refugees have moved on to other countries from Poland, as it is a member of the Schengen area which allows for the ease of crossing borders in Europe.
Another 386,000 refugees have fled to Hungary while 298,00 crossed the border from Ukraine into Slovakia, both of which are also members of the Schengen area. About 636,000 refugees have fled to Romania.