Romania, located in southeastern Europe, borders Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, and the Black Sea. The European Union’s longest river, the Danube, flows along the southern border with Bulgaria.

  • Population: 4,228,000
  • Life Expectancy: 74 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 88%
  • School Enrollment: 96%
  • Land Mass: 92,043 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 98%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 14/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 7,841

Facts about Romania

Economic Development

Romania’s economy continues to struggle. More than 7 percent of the workforce is unemployed and about a quarter of Romanians live below the poverty line.

Child Protection

Children and youth under age 24 make up more than 40 percent of Romania’s impoverished population.


Although healthcare is free in Romania, the healthcare system suffers from underfunding, a lack of basic medication and supplies, and underpaid doctors and nurses.

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Progress in Romania

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2012.

  • Promoted community volunteerism and the creation of Child-Friendly Spaces to improve the well-being of children.

  • Coordinated with local religious leaders to create programs that contribute to the spiritual nurture of children and their families.

  • Taught vulnerable families how to raise small livestock as a way to increase their household income and improve their children's nutrition.

  • Provided children with extra academic help to improve their skills in reading, writing, and math.

  • Involved community members in educational campaigns designed to increase parent involvement in schools and lower student drop-out rates.

  • Gave children the opportunity to build friendships. learn life skills, and express themselves through activities like sports, arts, and handicraft classes.

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    World Vision in Romania Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Romania to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 6,500 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Romania. Highlights include:

    • Providing educational support and scholarship funds for children to attend secondary schools.
    • Caring for and supporting abandoned children, helping them reunite with their families.
    • Partnering with community leaders to prevent abusive child labor practices and creating a protective environment for children.

    World Vision History in Romania

    World Vision assistance to Romania dates back to 1977 after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake, but the office did not open until 1990 after the fall of the communist regime. Since then, some major accomplishments include:

    • Supporting church leaders through a pastoral leadership development program during the 1980s.
    • Improving access to healthcare and health education in rural areas since the early 1990s.
    • Meeting the needs of HIV-positive children through youth clubs, recreational activities, and medical and dental services in the late 1990s.
    • Helping children with disabilities join traditional classrooms by training teachers and supplying proper equipment since the late 1990s and beginning of the 21st century.

    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    Romania, located in southeastern Europe, borders Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, and the Black Sea. The European Union’s longest river, the Danube, flows along the southern border with Bulgaria.

    Mountains, low hills, and grasslands fill Romania’s landscape. The climate is temperate with cold, snowy winters and warm, rainy summers.

    Natural resources include petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, timber, salt, and hydropower.

    Ethnic Romanians make up most of the population. The nation’s official language is Romanian, but people also speak Hungarian, Romany, and German.

    Many Romanians live in apartments with only a few rooms—one of which serves as both a living room and bedroom. Families are important and grandparents often live with their children to help care for their grandchildren.


    The two principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia joined as Romania in 1877, gaining independence from Turkish rule. Romania remained independent until the end of World War II, when Russia occupied the country and eventually established a communist rule.

    During the 1960s, Nicolae Ceausescu came to power and established a neo-Stalinist police-state. Once a prosperous country, Romania suffered from severe food and fuel shortages by the late 1980s.

    In December 1989, Ceausescu was overthrown and executed in a violent revolution. Subsequent government attempts at economic reform led to student and worker protests in 1997 and 1999. Romania joined NATO in 2004 and the European Union in January 2007.

    Prayer Requests for Romania

    • Parents to understand the importance of sending their children to school.
    • New economic opportunities for struggling families.
    • The protection and care of children, especially for those who are left alone while their parents search for work abroad.
    • Wisdom and stability in the government.