- Hans Weber
- November 29, 2023
Czech Republic Increases Official Development Assistance to Over 20 Billion CZK, Focusing on Ukraine and Priority Countries
Preliminary data reveals that the Czech Republic significantly increased its official development assistance (ODA) last year, providing over 20 billion Czech koruna (CZK) to support development efforts. This marked a notable increase of 12 billion CZK compared to the previous year, largely driven by contributions aimed at addressing the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
Of the total assistance provided, almost 14 billion CZK was allocated to provide income and temporary protection to refugees from Ukraine. This underscores the Czech Republic’s commitment to supporting those affected by the ongoing conflict in the region. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also allocated 193 million CZK for 27 humanitarian aid projects, including six projects specifically designed to assist Ukrainian refugees in Moldova and support essential services.
In addition to the aid provided to Ukraine, the Czech Republic focused on supporting six priority countries for development cooperation: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Georgia, Cambodia, Moldova, and Zambia. The Czech Development Agency directed 313.2 million CZK towards projects in these countries, with a particular emphasis on sustainable resource management, public administration, economic growth, agriculture and rural development, and inclusive social development.
Despite the significant increase in ODA volume, the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs cautioned that limited and stagnating financing remains the most pressing challenge for Czech development efforts. The preliminary results of official development assistance highlight a one-time fund increase primarily due to the inclusion of finances spent on Ukrainian refugees. To ensure the effective delivery of aid, the ministry emphasized the necessity of continued international cooperation and rigorous evaluation of development programs.
The war in Ukraine has resulted in extraordinary humanitarian aid costs and has had global impacts, especially in terms of food security. However, the Czech Republic, during its presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of last year, had an opportunity to address these challenges and advocate for coordinated efforts among member states.
Recognizing the ongoing needs in Ukraine, the Czech government approved a comprehensive Program of Humanitarian, Stabilization, Reconstruction, and Economic Assistance to Ukraine for the period from 2023 to 2025. The program includes an annual allocation of half a billion CZK, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs being responsible for more than half of the funds. Other ministries, including the interior, industry and trade, education, and health ministries, will also play key roles in administering the assistance.
By significantly increasing its official development assistance, particularly in response to the crisis in Ukraine, the Czech Republic demonstrates its commitment to supporting those in need and contributing to sustainable development in priority countries. Continued financial support, international collaboration, and robust evaluation of aid efforts will be critical in achieving positive and lasting outcomes in the realm of development cooperation.
Article by Prague Forum