In Context: Romania

By Falguni Vyas

July 31, 2012

Population: 23 Million

Native greeting: Buna Ziua (Hello!)

Local currency: Romanian leu

Capital: Bucharest


Located on the Lower Danube river, Romania is the ninth largest country in the European Union with the seventh largest population. It borders the Black Sea, Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova and Bulgaria.

Romania began its transition towards democracy with the fall of the Iron Curtain. Immediately after this transition began, Romania experienced about a decade of economic problems which required extensive reforms by the country's new government. Romania has since recovered and is on its way to being an upper middle-income country with a high rate of human development.

In the late 2000s, almost 10% of the population lived in absolute poverty, 90% of this population lives in rural areas. The average income of the population living in urban areas is 36% higher than those living in rural Romania. The average monthly household income is around $862.

Heifer's work in Romania












Heifer Interventions: Dairy cows; beef cattle; water buffaloes; goats; sheep; horses; pigs; poultry; rabbits; fish and apiaries

Issues addressed: Sustainable community development; environment; gender equity; micro-finance; youth and the disadvantaged (Roma)

Heifer Romania is part of the Central and Eastern Europe Program of Heifer International. Along with Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Kosovo, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine, Heifer Romania helps with the transition from a communist system to a free market economy.

Heifer Romania focuses on assisting small communities in need, in order to improve their living standards, nutrition and income.  In cooperation with other organizations, Heifer Romania promotes among its partners agroecology, market economy, democracy and human values through:

  • Using Heifer International  experience and Cornerstones in building sustainable farming systems,
  • Building durable connections between groups formed by different cultural, ethnic and religious groups,
  • Promoting family harmony and gender equity,
  • Helping children and youth at risk,
  • Improving the environment and promoting organic agriculture,
  • Developing cooperation with CEE country programs.