Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Czech NGO's office provides CZK 76 million in humanitarian aid

ČTK |
29 June 2018

Prague, June 28 (CTK) - The Czech office of Doctors without Borders (MSF) international humanitarian organisation provided funding of 76 million crowns in 2017 thanks to its donors, the MSF representatives have said at a press conference on its annual report.

The aid was sent to 13 countries and 44 Czech and Slovak coworkers of the NGO were sent on missions last year.

The money the MSF receives is put to use in places of biggest crises, such as the Middle East with the ongoing crises in Yemen, Iraq and Syria, or to help in refugee camps in Bangladesh, head of the Czech MSF office Pavel Gruber said.

The Czech MSF branch assisted in Mexico after the earthquake, in Kyrgyzstan in treatment of tuberculosis, in Swaziland to HIV and AIDS patients, in Niger to malnourished children. In Ukraine, the aid was sent to the area of Mariupol, near the conflict zone.

Gruber highlighted on Wednesday that the aid provided in 2017 was record high in MSF's history in the Czech Republic. In 2016, the amount was lower by 7 percent.

The whole amount consists of private donations as the organisation does not receive any state subsidies. Currently 83 percent of the collected funds go to aid in the afflicted areas, about 12 percent is used to finance the acquisition of further donors and the rest is spent on the NGO's operation costs.

Some of the participants in MSF's missions join them repeatedly within a single year.

Gruber said the most frequent problem was when a doctor or a nurse wanted to go abroad, but the head doctor could not release them. This is why the MSF enters into agreements on support directly with the hospitals.

One half of the participants in the missions were doctors, others were undertaking further necessary professions.

However, foreign experts form less than 10 percent of the MSF staff in hospitals, where the core workers are those from local communities, anesthesiologist Dusan Mach, who took part in the missions in Yemen and South Sudan, said.

Volunteers were also mapping the "white spots" within the Missing Maps project, in which humanitarian organisations took share. The Czechs and Slovaks drew 14,000 kilometres of roads in maps, as well as some 410,00 buildings.

The maps were then an invaluable tool in the planning of operations such as vaccination to help stop an epidemic of cholera in Mozambique.

The Czech MSF office has been operating since 2006 and the international body was founded in 1971.

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