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Frelich is new head of Czech Development Agency

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Prague, Aug 23 (CTK) – Pavel Frelich, 46, Prague’s former representative at the World Bank, has become the new head of the Czech Development Agency (CRA) for the next four years, the Foreign Ministry told CTK on Wednesday.

Frelich, who won a competition for the post, is replacing Michal Kaplan, who is leaving for another post in Czech diplomacy.

Frelich said he wants to emphasise the interconnection between development aid and the private sector.

“Foreign development cooperation is an investment to reduce poverty and help develop the world’s poorest countries, which has a positive effect for the donor country as well. Under my leadership, the Czech Development Agency will be supporting this trend together with using new financial instruments and mechanisms,” Frelich said.

“I expect a stronger involvement of the private sector and private resources in the development cooperation projects,” he said.

Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) appointed Frelich in the post as of August 15.

Yesterday, Frelich was introduced in his new office by Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Tlapa under whose jurisdiction the CRA falls.

Tlapa said one of the new director’s main tasks is to fulfil the Foreign Development Cooperation Strategy Until 2030, which the cabinet approved on Monday.

“We will more link our development activities with political, security and economic interests of the Czech Republic and its citizens. We will more focus on the effective return of the money we invest in fighting poverty and inequalities,” Tlapa said.

The CRA coordinates projects aimed to support sustainable development in selected countries.

According to its strategy for 2018, the priority countries in this respect are Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Moldova and Zambia.

The CRA seeks both the non-profit and private sectors’ involvement in development aid. The Czechs have succeeded, for example, in projects of nature-friendly use of sources and in solving environmental problems such as waste processing.

The CRA’s annual budget exceeds half a billion crowns. In future, it is to be raised by adding more funds from the state budget as well as the EU.

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