This year, Czechia will send 140 million korunas (€5.45 million) from the On-Site Assistance program mainly to the Western Balkans and Jordan to relieve these countries from strong migratory pressures or to assist refugees in their countries of origin.
Central European countries like Czechia and Hungary have long advocated sending aid to countries where migrants come from in under to reduce the pressure on Europe’s borders.
In addition, the Medevac health and humanitarian program with aid totaling 55 million korunas (€2.14 million) will go to international organizations that help in Iraq, Mauritania, and Nigeria, according to Eurozpravy.cz.
As the Czech Ministry of Interior stated in a press release, the goals of both programs include sending medical teams to problematic areas, building medical infrastructure, providing direct assistance to refugees, and fighting against illegal migration.
A total of 50 million korunas (€1.94 million) will go to Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Serbia this year. The aim is to strengthen the countries’ capacities in asylum policy, receiving migrants, and their integration or return to their home countries.
Czechia plans to donate another 25 million korunas (€973,087) to Jordan on stabilizing the situation of Syrian refugees in the country. The same amount will go to the wider Sahel region, namely Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal. The money will be used to stabilize the situation of refugees and migrants, and to support the countries’ asylum, migration, and border systems. The aim is to help vulnerable people and prevent illegal migration to Europe.
The remaining 40 million korunas (€1.55 million) consist of two parts. One of them is a financial contribution of 25 million korunas (€973,087) to a joint project of the Visegrád Four countries and Germany in Morocco. The plan is to increase Morocco’s border protection capacity. The remaining 15 million korunas (€583,494) are for emergencies.
According to preliminary data from Frontex, 124,000 migrants and refugees arrived in Europe last year, amounting to a 13-percent decrease compared to the previous year. According to the Interior Ministry, this was mainly a consequence of measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontex’s data shows that citizens of Syria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria were those arriving in Europe most often.
The money from the Medevac program will be used in Iraq to improve access to reproductive, maternity, postpartum, and neonatal health care in western Mosul decimated by war. In Mauritania, the financial aid will support a project targeting patients from the Mbera refugee camp. In Nigeria, the money will go into rehabilitation and orthopedic services.
Title image: Migrants wait in a line to receive handouts of food and warm beverages, at the Lipa camp, outside Bihac, Bosnia, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Kemal Softic)