The Japanese team believes that Moldova needs continued help

The UN refugee agency estimates that at least 4.3 million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion. A team from a Japanese aid agency has traveled to Moldova to assess what can be done to help evacuees from Ukraine and the Moldovan government. Ukraine’s small neighbor has the highest number of refugees per capita in Europe.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, team arrived on March 20. Members visited evacuation centers as well as hospitals and other medical facilities.

On Friday, they held an online press conference to discuss their findings.

A member noted that medicines imported from Ukraine before the fighting started should be lacking. Another said residents feared more evacuees would flood in if Russia escalates the conflict.

Kubo Tatsuhiko, the team leader, said the country’s medical capacity was limited. Some hospitals use decades-old equipment. Others face labor shortages.

“I hope every donor and all of us will continue to monitor the situation and work with the people of Moldova and Ukraine, as well as other neighboring countries,” Kubo said.

During their assessment, the team members also shared Japan’s knowledge in the field of natural disaster response.

JICA says it will use the team’s reports to help determine how best to continue supporting evacuees and their hosts.