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Helping the forgotten

Transdnestria is a disputed landlocked territory situated east of the River Dniester between Moldova and Ukraine.

How we're helping children

About Transdnestria

Transnistria, officially the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR) and also called Transdniestria, or Pridnestrovie, is a landlocked self-proclaimed state situated between the River Dniester and the border with Ukraine, recognised only by three other non-United Nations (UN) states: Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia. The region is considered by the UN to be part of Moldova. The PMR controls a narrow strip of territory to the east of the River Dniester, and also the city of Bender and its surrounding localities on the west bank, in the historical region of Bessarabia.

Unrecognised by any United Nations member state, Transnistria is designated by the Republic of Moldova as the Transnistria autonomous territorial unit with special legal status.

After the dissolution of the USSR, tensions between Moldova and the breakaway Transnistrian territory escalated into a military conflict that started in March 1992 and was concluded by a ceasefire in July of the same year. As part of that agreement, a three-party (Russia, Moldova, Transnistria) Joint Control Commission supervises the security arrangements in the demilitarised zone, comprising twenty localities on both sides of the river. Although the ceasefire has held, the territory's political status remains unresolved: Transnistria is an unrecognised but de facto independent presidential republic with its own government, parliament, military, police, postal system, currency and license plates. Its authorities have adopted a constitution, flag, national anthem, and coat of arms. It is the only country still using the hammer and sickle on its flag.

After a 2005 agreement between Moldova and Ukraine, all Transnistria companies that seek to export goods through the Ukrainian border must be registered with the Moldovan authorities. This agreement was implemented after the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) took force in 2005. Most Transnistrians also have Moldovan citizenship, but many Transnistrians also have Russian and Ukrainian citizenship. The largest ethnic group is Moldovans (32.1%), who historically had a higher share of the population, up to 49.4% in 1926.

Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia are post-Soviet "frozen conflict" zones. These four partially recognised states maintain friendly relations with each other and form the Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations.

It was through work we were doing in the neighbouring region of Moldova that eventually took us into Transdniestria in 2003 and there have been ongoing projects since that time. To date we have provided in the region of €9 million worth of medical equipment and supplies, helping to transform the hospitals in Transdniestria. This has provided the opportunity for doctors and nurses to give a level of healthcare previously unavailable.

2010 Transdnestria Programme