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Czech News in English » News » LN: Czech Caritas to provide money for foreigners' integration

LN: Czech Caritas to provide money for foreigners’ integration

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Prague, Jan 19 (CTK) – Caritas Czech Republic will be the general provider of money for foreigners´ integration replacing the Interior Ministry this year, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes yesterday, adding that no tender for the position was held, which the ministry justifies by lack of time.
The ministry says the EU quotas were approved last autumn only and there was no time for a regular tender to be launched, but it will be held this year.
However, Caritas cannot freely distribute the money for integration. “We only work as an intermediate link between our sub-suppliers and the Interior Ministry to which we must invoice everything,” Jakub Licka, Caritas Czech Republic secretary general, told LN.
He said the NGO got the one-year contract for integration services and assistance to asylum applicants because its dioceses form a dense network across the country.
Even though Caritas could provide all services by itself, it wants to cooperate with other NGOs that it will hire, Licka said.
“Ideally, we want to do 60 percent of the work ourselves, the rest we will delegate on sub-suppliers,” he said.
LN writes that the number of asylum applicants has not been dramatically rising with the migrant wave, but this year the Interior Ministry expects the number to rise steeply.
The ministry has annually registered some 400 asylum applicants, but this year the number could be five times higher, which has also been reflected in the budget of the State Integration Programme (SIP), LN.
The money is used for Czech language courses, assistance in seeking accommodation and jobs as well as accompaniment to offices, LN writes.
Last year, the ministry and the NGOs providing integration services for the state got 22 million crowns, but this year, the ministry has raised the amount nine times to 200 million crowns, LN writes.
Of the total, 73 million crowns will go from the state budget, the rest from the EU. Within the migrant mandatory redistribution quotas, the EU will provide 6000 euros per migrant, LN writes.
The EU interior ministers approved by a majority of votes the relocation of 120,000 refugees at their meeting in Brussels in September, despite the opposition of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. In addition, the EU member states are to divide among themselves another 40,000 refugees on a voluntary basis.
The quotas do not function, however. A mere 322 refugees have been relocated across the European Union. None of them arrived in the Czech Republic, LN writes.
The ministry expects some 750 migrants to arrive in the country this year. Of them, 550 based on the EU quotas and the remaining 200 within the Czech pledge to alleviate the overcrowded camps in Jordan and Kurdistan, LN writes.
However, the figures will probably remain on paper only and with them the 130 million crowns in bonuses from the EU, too, LN writes.
It writes that out of the 400 refugees whom the government decided to bring to the Czech Republic within a humanitarian gesture last year, a mere three Syrian families have arrived, one of which left for Germany soon afterwards. Another 30 Syrian Christians should arrive next weekend, LN writes.
($1=24.821 crowns)

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