Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid
27.02.2013 / 12:15
Welcome to the Czech Republic's development cooperation website. Official site address: www.mzv.cz/aid
In today‘s world, humanity is facing a number of escalating global challenges. The most pressing of these issues include armed conflicts, terrorism and organised crime, illegal migration, the deficit of good governance, the lack of potable water, increasing food prices, pandemics of HIV/AIDS and other diseases, as well as climate change. The majority of these issues are linked to poverty, with the developing world facing the most dire consequences. Together, developed and developing countries face a major challenge: to reduce poverty in developing countries, while also preventing adverse poverty-induced phenomena.
After more than 20 years of democratic development, the Czech Republic is among the 35 richest countries in the world, making it morally obliged to help less prosperous regions; at the same time, the provision of assistance also enables the country to pursue its own interests. The growing economic potential of developing countries contributes to the stability of the global economy and the development of prospective markets, while also enabling competitive Czech companies to participate. Development activities strengthen bilateral political, economic and cultural relations with individual countries, while also improving the Czech Republic’s position on the international scene. Effective development cooperation also contributes to an improved security situation, at both regional and global levels.
Development cooperation has, therefore, become an important component of Czech foreign policy. The Czech Republic supports the implementation of development projects, offers scholarships enabling students to enrol at Czech universities, provides humanitarian aid, as well as a number of related activities. At the same time, it actively participates in international organisations that deal with issues of developing countries. The Czech Republic focuses on projects where it may benefit from its comparative advantages, including its experience with the process of transition towards a democratic political system, and from a centrally planned economy to a market one. This way, the country may share its knowledge of societal transition, the reform of justice and government, privatisation, the modification of the tax system and the building of a market environment.
The Act on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, effective from 1 July 2010, has defined the concepts of development cooperation and humanitarian aid, as well as the roles of various actors in its implementation. The Development Cooperation Strategy of the Czech Republic for 2010-2017 has laid out forms and modalities used in Czech assistance, its key geographic and sectoral priorities, i.e. several groups of priority countries, sectors and cross-cutting principles. The Strategy also strives to deepen understanding of development cooperation as an instrument of foreign policy with security, economic, environmental, social and migration aspects, as well as the effective application of the specific experience and skills of the Czech Republic (e.g. in connection with the transformation of society and the promotion of human rights and democracy), and broader utilization of ties between development assistance of the Czech Republic and the EU.