Prague, Nov 29 (CTK) – The sum the Czech state spends on scholarships of students from developing countries this year will increase by an additional 3.9 million crowns, compared with the original plan, the outgoing cabinet decided at the Education Ministry’s request on Wednesday.

The increase raises the total sum the ministry spends on foreign development cooperation to 115.6 million crowns.

At the same time, the government lowered this year’s budget of the science and universities sectors by the same sum of 3.9 million, in which money has been spared as a result of students’ lower interest in exchange programmes, according to the Education Ministry.

Originally, the ministry’s spending on foreign development cooperation in 2017 was projected at 110 million crowns.

Last year, the cabinet approved two extraordinary measures that required additional funds.

It was the enlargement of a programme in support of Syrian students and in support of Nigerian students at the 1st Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague. That is why the ministry’s budget was increased once before this year, by 1.7 million crowns.

The development aid, coordinated by the Foreign Ministry, includes projects aimed to eradicate poverty and improve living conditions is endangered regions. It includes humanitarian aid and also granting scholarships to students from selected countries to enable their studies at Czech universities.

One of the government’s development aid programmes is that of the humanitarian, development and reconstruction assistance in Syria in 2016-2019, within which Prague spent over 200 million crowns in 2016 and plans to spend some 224 million this year.