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Czech humanitarian response to COVID-19 pandemic

In relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic combines repatriation assistance to stranded Czech citizens abroad with humanitarian assistance to most affected countries.

In view of the global spreading of the COVID-19, the Minister of Foreign Affairs presented to the Czech Government a proposal of comprehensive humanitarian response focused in particular on partner countries for the Czech bilateral development assistance (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine) and worth at least 25 mil. CZK (1.2 mil. USD). The proposal was approved by the Czech Government on April 9, 2020.

The assistance will be implemented with use of two instruments. A call for proposals for the Czech registered NGOs (in cooperation with Czech experts and producers of medical assets) will be published on April 17, at latest. The assistance will focus on direct medical and hygiene related measures as well as on the broader socio-economic impact, in particular on vulnerable victims of the pandemic. The projects will be implemented from May till December, 2020. At least 10 mil. CZK will be allocated to this purpose.    

At least 15 mil. CZK will be allocated to the instrument of tied financial donations. In its framework, medical in-kind assistance will be provided to particular hospitals identified by the Czech Embassies in the target countries. The delivery is envisaged in the third quarter of this year, pending the liberalization of the current restrictions on international transport.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to analyse other instruments and resources, including the assistance programmes for Africa, Iraq, and Syria. Upon completing, development and economic response to COVID-19 pandemic will also be presented to the Government.

The Czech activities are fully in line with the emerging EU response framed as “Team Europe”. The cooperation between EU Member States, the European Commissions and the European financial institutions, namely European Investment Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, was discussed on April 8 at the video-meeting of ministers for development cooperation. The Czech Republic will in particular promote a coherent and well-communicated response in all vulnerable countries according to their particular needs. The coordination and coherence between humanitarian, peace and development actors and activities will be of importance as well.

In February 2020, the Czech Republic was among the first ten contributing countries to the WHO Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan with the amount of 6 mil. CZK (0.24 mil. USD). The Czech Republic has also provided in-kind medical assistance, mostly Czech maid protective assets for medical personnel, to the most affected countries such as China, Italy or Spain.