MOLDOVA - Officially the poorest country in Europe.
Official name Republica Moldova/Republic of Moldova
Area 33,700 sq km or 13,000 sq miles
Capital Chişinău (Russian Kishinev)
Major towns/cities Bălţi, Tiraspol, Tighina
Physical features Undulating land largely bordered by the rivers Prut and Dniester; northern Moldova comprises the level plain of the Bălţi Steppe and uplands.
Currency leu (single) 1 Leu = 100 Bani or Lei. About 21 or 22 lei to the pound Sterling.
Moldova is a land of undulating countryside and relies to a large extent on agriculture. The fields are worked largely by hand and during the season hundreds of workers can be seen with hand tools tending the soil and the crops. School holidays are long, which enables the children to help in the fields.
Extreme poverty can be seen almost everywhere, not only in the villages but also in the towns. The centre of Chişinău is on the face of it quite prosperous but just away from the centre extreme poverty again can be found.
Generally speaking, the people are extremely hard working and generous with the very little that they have.
It is true to say, the world was very impressed in the way the people of Moldova welcomed the thousands of refugees who fled the escalating war at the beginning of 2022