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: 21,754,700
  • Life Expectancy: 74 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 88%
  • School Enrollment: 88%
  • Land Mass: 92,043 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 98%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 12/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 8,420

Facts about Romania

Economic Development

Rural poverty in Romania is six times higher than urban poverty. The average monthly income per household in rural areas is 24.7 percent lower than the national average.


Romania has the highest infant mortality rate in the European Union at 9.4 percent.


Two-thirds of the families living in rural areas treat their sick children at home without visiting a doctor. 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 2014.

  • We provided information sessions and practical simulations to prepare children and adults to safely respond to emergencies like fires, floods, and earthquakes.

  • Vulnerable families attended training sessions on income-generating activities such as goat raising and beekeeping and learned about budgeting and saving for their children's needs.

  • Students struggling in reading and math benefited when we worked with their communities to provide remedial lessons and tutoring.

  • Campaigns were held with parents and community leaders to raise awareness of the importance of education and increase the number of children enrolled in school.

  • We worked to improve education for children by training teachers in effective teaching methods and providing textbooks and school supplies for children.

  • Families received livestock like rabbits and goats to help them improve their children’s nutrition and save money for their education.

  • We supported children from vulnerable families with much needed medicine and eye exams.

  • Children and youth attended sessions with their parents on making healthy nutrition choices and avoiding tobacco and drugs in order to enjoy better health.

  • We partnered with local churches to engage children and parents in spiritual activities and encourage them to become active church members.

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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 7,100 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Romania. Highlights include:

    • Training medical staff to provide quality medical assistance, including counseling them on nutrition.
    • Reaching out to families and communities affected by natural disasters by providing them with hygiene products and clothing.
    • Raising awareness in communities regarding the importance of vaccinations and proper nutrition 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 many 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

    • Please pray for Romanian orphans who are required to leave institutional care when they turn 18 and are often ill-equipped to live independently.
    • Pray also for grandparents in Romania who are taking care of their grandchildren because their parents had to leave the community to find work.