Development cooperation is one of the most important components of Czech foreign policy. The Czech Republic supports the implementation of development projects, offers scholarships enabling students to enrol at Czech universities, provides humanitarian aid, as well as a number of related activities. At the same time, it actively participates in international organisations that deal with issues of developing countries.
The implementing body of the Czech Development Cooperation is The Czech Development Agency which is primarily focused on design and execution of bilateral development projects. Priority countries of Czech development cooperation are divided into three categories: programme countries (5 countries with the specific program of cooperation – Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Moldova, Mongolia), project countries (5 countries with single cooperation projects – Cambodia, Georgia, Kosovo, Palestine, Serbia) and 3 so called „phase-out“ countries in which the Czech Development Cooperation ends gradually – Yemen, Vietnam, Zambia.
The Czech Development Cooperation is based on these official documents:
Act on Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid No. 151/2010 Coll.
Development Cooperation Strategy of the Czech Republic 2010-2017
The important role within the development cooperation is dedicated to NGOs. We can name here for example People in Need; a non-governmental, non-profit organization based on the ideas of humanism, freedom, equality and solidarity. Its goal is to actively participate in shaping a society where cultural, ethnic, racial and other differences are a source of enrichment rather than conflict which definitely corresponds to the 2005 Convention objectives.
After more than 20 years of democratic development, the Czech Republichas possibilities how to help less prosperous regions; at the same time, the provision of assistance also enables the country to pursue its own interests. The growing economic potential of developing countries contributes to the stability of the global economy and the development of prospective markets, while also enabling competitive Czech companies to participate. Development activities strengthen bilateral political, economic and cultural relations with individual countries, while also improving the Czech Republic’s position on the international scene. Effective development cooperation also contributes to an improved security situation, at both regional and global levels.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure:
To achieve the goals of the 2005 Convention, it would be desirable to implement more cultural projects in developing countries. In 2013, Ministry of Foreign Affairs allocated 3 650 000 USD to humanitarian aid in developing countries.
The impact is seen on the evaluation reports of the supported projects.