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Právo: Czech Republic has 129,000 NGOs helping poor, elderly

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Prague, April 10 (CTK) – The Czech Republic with a population of 10.5 million has 129,061 non-governmental organisations without which the help to the poor, elderly, seriously ill children and victims of crime would all but stop, daily Pravo writes today.

In all, there are 82 Czechs per one NGO in the Czech Republic, Pravo writes.

However, Czech NGOs do not only mean charity and money raising. They also include various associations such as those of athletes, volunteer firefighters, anglers, beekeepers, etc.

“The non-profit sector also includes professional chambers, trade unions, political parties and church organisations,” Jitka Fortova, from the Czech Statistical Office (CSU), is quoted as saying.

There are also “market NGOs” providing services to business companies that founded them for this purpose and primarily finance them from membership fees.

“These conditions are also fulfilled by the associations of insurance companies and in the sector of governmental institutions, by state-run universities and associations of healthcare insurance companies,” Fortova said.

The government and municipalities increasingly use the help of NGOs in social services and education, Pravo writes.

“Without the activities of NGOs in the social sphere, aid to and support for the disabled, elderly, ill children, victims of violence, the poor and the homeless would all but stop,” expert Zdena Prokopova is quoted as saying.

This is why the government sponsors the non-profit sector. In 2015 alone, the NGOs gained 16.5 billion crowns as subsidies.

Last year, political parties received over 507 million crowns in contributions.

Churches, also non-profit institutions, will be receiving a regular subsidy in support of their activities until 2029. This year, the amount is 1.3 billion crowns.

In addition, churches are getting annual instalments for the property that was not returned to them after the fall of the Communist regime. This year, it is 3.3 billion crowns, Pravo writes.

Churches and religious societies also get money for their activities in various spheres such as education, culture, social services and help to the seriously ill, it adds.

In 2015, they received 2.1 billion crowns and the budget for this year earmarks 1.9 billion crowns for this purpose, Pravo writes.

NGOs must be institutionally separated from governmental organisations. They do not make part of the government and are not entrusted with the execution of its powers, it adds.

In all, NGOs have over 107,000 employees. Apart from subsidies, they have other incomes, Pravo writes.

Last year, individual gifts including membership fees amounted to almost five billion crowns and the gifts from companies to over five billion crowns and there was volunteers’ work in the value of almost six billion crowns, it adds.

NGOs solely use the donations to finance their operation, Pravo writes.

Of all NGOS, churches receive most contributions for their operation. On the other hand, churches are also among the biggest donors of gifts, it adds.

($1 = 24.999 crowns)

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