The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs will earmark financial aid worth 200 million korunas (€7.3 million) for developing countries hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The money will be used for projects focused on improving the health and resilience of the population in the priority countries of Czech development cooperation, which includes countries in Asia and Africa, the foreign ministry stated in a press release.
In particular, the aid is intended to provide health care, support hygiene, and nutrition.
The ministry expects that Czech companies will also be involved as the countries could use the money to buy needed supplies from the Czech Republic.
According to the foreign ministry, this should help Czech companies at a time of economic weakness caused by a pandemic. Czech companies could thus gain access to foreign markets or strengthen their position in them.
The Foreign Ministry will disburse the money to six countries, namely Bosnia, Moldova, Georgia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Zambia, that are among the priority countries of the Czech Republic’s development cooperation.
#TZMZV: Vláda ČR schválila návrh ministra @TPetricek na uvolnění částky až 200 milionů Kč z rozpočtu @mzvcr. Peníze budou použity v rámci úsilí ČR ?? pomoci postiženým zemím čelit dopadům pandemie #COVID19, a to v souladu s aktivitami #EU. ?? → https://t.co/7vQlwJbqFS
— MZV ČR (@mzvcr) May 12, 2020
The Czech Republic will also support projects in Africa in accordance with joint activities of the European Union.
“Specific attention will be paid to the wider area of the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, which are of strategic importance for the security of the Czech Republic and the EU,” said Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček.
The Foreign Ministry pointed out that in many developing countries the coronavirus pandemic had caused an economic downturn, which then further exacerbated social tensions. This has also caused extensive migration to Europe.