Even if a large number of legal entities manage the money of foreign donors allocated for different projects implemented at the central, regional, local levels for crossborder projects implemented in different areas of activity, the government is the largest recipient of foreign financing. The money provided by the international organizations, especially the IMF and the EU, go to pay pensions, social assistance, subsidies and represent the largest part of the contributions coming from abroad in direct budget support, Vadim Pistrinciuc, executive director of the Institute for Strategic Initiatives Vadim Pistrinciuc, stated in a public debate held by IPN.
The speaker noted that the government benefited from huge support, in the amount of 3.5 billion lei. This money helped alleviate the effects of the rise in gas prices and of the general crisis as a part of the value of bills was subsidized. If the social assistance line had been used, the subsidies would have never reached the recipients as the financial situation of each family was to be determined and the processing of data would have taken time.
Vadim Pistrinciuc noted that the pensions and social benefits were raised. As the number of pensioners and recipients of assistance against the number of working persons is not at all favorable for increasing the benefits, this wouldn’t have been possible without the involvement of foreign partners.
As regards the use of the money according to the right purpose, the expert said it’s not true that the foreign assistance is stolen in Moldova. This is a myth that comes from politics. “But in the Republic of Moldova, they steal the state funds, during procurement procedures, tender contests. If we speak about dedicated foreign projects, each donor has a system for ensuring transparency, which is sometimes very sophisticated. In the Republic of Moldova, there were only several projects that aroused Europeans’ suspicion. The correctness level in the management is rather high in the case of the funds provided by Europeans,” stated Vadim Pistrinciuc.
According to him, another aspect is that the foreign funds enable to cover the gaps that appear as a result of the embezzlement of state funds. This way the country remains afloat. For irresponsible governments, like the previous ones, foreign financing is a guarantee that things will go on, even if at a reduced speed and with modest results. The assertion that the foreign funds used to cover the gaps as a result of embezzlement generated polemics between the panel experts as to the fact that the message can be perceived incorrectly outside the country.
Vadim Pistrinciuc subscribed to the opinion that the changes in Moldovan politics led to the current purification. He said that after the foreign financing was halted in 2016, the Moldovan customs considerably increased revenues. This points to the use of internal reserves and not only. We are now also witnessing a continuous increase in the amounts collected by the customs.
The public debate entitled “Socially responsible management of foreign assistance: mechanisms, guarantees, efficiency” was the 251st installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.