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Czechs to spend 100 million more on development aid

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Prague, July 11 (CTK) – The contribution to the development aid will be increased by 100 million crowns as of next year, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) has said on Twitter, referring to the cabinet’s decision on Monday.

In all, the Foreign Ministry demanded roughly one billion and an increase by 200 million crowns in a year.

The Finance Ministry was opposed to the idea, arguing that the demands did not correspond with the dimensions of the budget.

Sobotka said the money would be spent on healthcare, food aid and scholarships.

According to the medium-term outlook of the development cooperation funding, the total sum will be annually raised by 100 million crowns until 2019, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (CSSD) told reporters.

The development aid encompasses the projects that are to eradicate poverty and to improve the life conditions in threatened regions.

In the budget proposal for next year, the Foreign Ministry wanted to spend 746 million on development projects.

It planned to set aside 130 million crowns for humanitarian aid that is to save the people whose lives are directly threatened.

The transformation cooperation, targeted on the development of democracy and human rights, is to be sponsored with 63 million crowns. Another 115 million crowns are to be spent on the education of students from developing countries.

After the planned decrease, 658 million out of the total sum of 954 million crowns will be spent on development projects. The sum of 130 million allocated to development aid has not been cut. The funding of transformation cooperation has been cut by ten million to 53 million crowns.

The sum of 110 million crowns will go to development scholarships, while three million crowns will be earmarked for health care of scholarship holders.

Within a programme of bilateral development aid, the Czech Republic divides money among a number of priority countries. Between 2010 and 2017, these are Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Moldova, Mongolia, Georgia, Cambodia, Kosovo, Palestine, Serbia and Zambia.

After 2017, the group will be reduced to the six following countries: Ethiopia, Cambodia, Zambia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Moldova.

The reduction is motivated by the effort to support quality of the aid and to target it better.

Bilateral development aid is only part of the total volume of the money the Czech Republic spends on aid abroad.

The Czech Republic provides a much more higher sum within multilateral development cooperation, administered by international organisations.

According to the Czech Development Agency, the Czech Republic sponsored development aid with 4.95 billion crowns last year, 65 percent of which accounted for multilateral cooperation.

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