- Hans Weber
- February 1, 2023
Czech government among largest Ukraine supporters
Financial support has expectedly slowed down over the past six months, but aid organisations continue to report a steady stream of donations, large and small. An upsurge was recently observed on the anniversary of the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, on August 20-21, when Czechs could send the symbolic sums of 1,968 Kč or 68 Kč to mark the date.
Overall, this constitutes by far the largest wave of solidarity in Czech society. The previous record was a collection of 1.3 billion Kč raised following last year’s tornado that hit parts of South Moravia.
Ordinary Czechs are not the only ones to have stepped up. According to the Kiel Institute’s Ukraine Tracker, the Czech government has pledged €340 million in military aid (90% of which has already been delivered), making it the 6th largest government donor after the US, Poland, the UK, Canada and Germany, on top of €110 million in humanitarian aid.
The Czech government’s support to Ukraine, including refugee costs, amounted to about 0,6% of GDP, a share only surpassed by Estonia, Latvia, and Poland and on par with Lithuania’s.
The data stems from the figures released by the main associations in charge of collecting donations from individuals, companies, and organisations across the country. The donations are used to help refugees fleeing the war (food, drinking, medical supplies, healthcare, accommodation, and other emergency needs) and to buy weapons and military equipment for the Ukrainian armed forces.
About half of the total amount (nearly 2 billion Kč, or more than €80 million) was collected via the SOS Ukraine platform set up by Czech non-governmental organisation People in Need.
The Ukrainian embassy in Prague has, for its part, received 1.2 billion Kč (€49 million) in donations, used exclusively for the purchase of military material.
Other important collectors include the Post Bellum organisation (nearly 400 million Kč) and the Czech Red Cross (about 320 million Kč), Charita ČR (155 million Kč), as well as dozens of other humanitarian associations and non-governmental organisations.
About half of the donations were sent during the first 14 days of the war, when the shock of the Russian invasion and the high stakes fighting near Kyiv evidently prompted Czechs to donate en masse.