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Czech humanitarian assistance started at the end of the last century. Nowadays there are among 13 organisations, which are organised in the national platform (named FoRS), 5 of which are larger and have activities in main relief efforts all over the world; Humanitarian assistance is to support human rights, to do advocacy and to support civil society building in transition countries.

 5
health, education, human rights
children, IDP, elderly
2
9 million Euro

Scope of involvement

International

There is smooth collaboration with ECHO, UN and other big donors and INGO´s and other European governments. In the years 2004-2012 Czech NGO´s acquired 22 projects amounting to 8,4 milion Euro. International efforts focus on Sub-Saharan Africa States, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Sri-Lanka, India, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Philippines.

Regional

Kosovo, Bosnia, Former Soviet Republic, especially Chechnya, Ukraine, Belarus, Tajikistan, Moldova.

National

The national focus is to work with local people in very specific projects, so that help can be targeted in the light of limited funding. Almost annually floods in the country

Turning point

The end of the cold war opened the space for humanitarian activities in the Czech Republic although the first humanitarian response aiming at alleviating suffering after the earthquake in Armenia dated back to the winter of 1988/1989. The other significant moments were Balkan wars, Chechen war and severe floods in 1997 in CR.

 

Types of stakeholders

NGO in general

5 main organisations as described above People in Need, ADRA CR, Caritas CR, MSF CR and Diakonie CCE. The size of the country restricts its financial potential, notwithstanding this the state cooperates well and the people support public collection generously. Czech organisations are focused on assistance to war victims, assistance to refuges, education, health care and development of social care.

Faith-based organisations

2 of the main organisations have faith-based background: Caritas CR and ADRA CR.

State humanitarianism

Ministries and State agencies involved

A new Department for development and humanitarian response was established (2003) in the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Czech Development Agency (2010).

Legal framework

A Crisis law passed in 2000 and new laws regarding humanitarian and development aid of the Czech Republic were adopted in 2010.

Principles and accountability

The European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid, GHD  and InterAction standards were adopted, as well as the rules of coordination of the UN.

Dialogue-coordination

A Forum for cooperation of Czech development and humanitarian organisations (FoRS) was established in 2002.

Specific roles of international organisations

European Commission

Caritas Czech Republic and People in Need signed the FPA of ECHO in Brussels already in 2003. Since then another one organisation signed the FPA and cooperate with EC. MSF has a contract with ECHO at the global level.

 

Humanitarian Education

Higher education

There is one humanitarian education program at Palacky University in Olomouc (in cooperation with CARITAS College of Social Work) on a Bachelor level named Social and humanitarian work and one at Master level named International Humanitarian and Social Work. At the Bachelor level, the focus is on Social Work and Policy, overall knowledge on Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation, knowledge of the main international institutions and their cooperation, Sphere Project, PCM and Practical Trainings. At the Master Level, there is more stress on New Challenges in Humanitarian Assistance, Ethics and Human Rights, Support of Affected Communities, Management of Organisations, Peace Building and Reconciliation. There are also special courses led by humanitarian practitioners. Research is also an important part of the curriculum. In addition, the faculties of law in CR taught humanitarian law and also development studies are taught on two other faculties.

In-house training

There are in-house trainings in big organisations for the people who graduated from other schools or for volunteers coming for short term work.

Specialised organisations

Salanga, an organisation that provides trainings which focuses on: security and safety of humanitarian workers.

Additional Points

Congresses are also organised such as the International Humanitarian Congress in Prague 2012 and in Olomouc in October 2013 which brought together 300 participants for discussions and debates on themes: such as relief in conflict in Syria, new technologies, LRRD, Concept of Resilience or Czech Humanitarian Aid.

 

References

Zogata-Kusz, A. (2013) Labour immigration Policy in a Country Known for Emigration: Poland´s Policy Towards Economic Immigration after EU Accession. Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci.

PREZELJ, I., CABADOVÁ WAISOVÁ, Š. (2012) Humanitarianism and development assistance as a weapon of war. Transformation of civil-military cooperation and armed forces as agents of development. Politics in Central Europe , roč. 8, č. 3, s. 90-115. ISSN: 1801-3422.

Princová, K. (2011) Ethical Challenges in Humanitarian Assisstance. Czech and Slovak Social Work, Special English Issue. 5/2011, roč. 11, str. 40-48. Publisher: The Association of Educators in Social Work; ISSN: 1213-6204.

Princová, K. (2009) The City as a Refuge. In Cities and Crises. HumanitarianNet, University of Deusto, Bilbao.

Researchers

Dr. Kveta Princova
Palacký University