Humanitarian Aid in 2010
03.10.2011 / 13:55
The Act on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, effective from 1 July 2010, lays down the definition of humanitarian aid. It involves, in agreement with the currently recognised international definition, immediate and long-term reaction to exceptional events as well as disaster prevention. The act also lays down the responsibilities applying to, among other entities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic for the purposes of humanitarian aid. Long-term goals and the existing concept of humanitarian aid provided by the Czech Republic, as well as its links to development cooperation, have also been considered within the Development Cooperation Strategy 2010-2017.
The year 2010 was globally marked with a high number of disasters. The Haiti earthquake of 12 January 2010 and the extensive floods in Pakistan of August and September 2010, which affected up to one third of Pakistan’s territory, were among the most devastating disasters with lasting humanitarian consequences. The Czech Republic donated a total of USD 1.5 million in assistance in the aftermath of these two humanitarian disasters.
Natural disasters were also the main driving factor behind the geographical distribution of humanitarian aid provided by the Czech Republic in 2010: more than a third of the budget (USD 1.7 million) went to Latin America (Haiti, Chile, Cuba), another third (USD 1.5 million) to Asia (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Afghan refugees in Iran, Burma/Myanmar, Mongolia, Sri Lanka). The remaining third was donated to Sub-Saharan Africa (USD 1 million, Europe (USD 0.6 million) and the Middle East (USD 0.2 million).
Besides natural disasters, a part of the 2010 humanitarian aid was donated to help countries, located predominantly in Sub-Saharan Africa, that were affected by comprehensive humanitarian crises, in compliance with Act no. 151/2010 Coll. and the Humanitarian Aid Operation Strategy. In the aforementioned area, as well as during the reconstruction in Haiti following the earthquake and in Pakistan and the Balkans following extensive floods, Czech non-governmental organisations and their humanitarian projects received assistance in the form of subsidies. The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) received a contribution within disaster prevention, as a part of risk reducing programme in connection with the disasters in Haiti.
Additional aid following humanitarian disasters was provided from the budget of the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic (USD 1 million) as well as from regional and university budgets (USD 1.7 million). The total humanitarian aid, provided from public budgets in 2010, amounted to USD 7.4 million.
In terms of the OECD/DAC classification, humanitarian aid provided by the Czech Republic may be divided as follows: emergency response (USD 5.4 million), reconstruction relief and rehabilitation (USD 1.4 million) and disaster prevention (USD 0.3 million).