Czech donations to Ukraine surpass all previous records

More than CZK 2 billion has been collected in the Czech Republic for humanitarian and military aid to the Ukraine since the country was invaded by Russia at the end of February. The amount of humanitarian aid alone surpasses any yet collected in Czechia in response to natural or man-made disasters.

Humanitarian and military aid accounts for Ukraine had been set up already before Russia fully invaded the state on February 24. However, since then financial and other donations have been substantially simplified and become more transparent. This, combined with Czech outrage at Russia’s actions and feelings of empathy for Ukrainians, has resulted in record-breaking donations to the latter’s civilians and military forces.

Most of the donations have been going into the SOS Ukraine account administered by humanitarian NGO People in Need. The organisation had raised over CZK 1.2 billion crowns by Monday, March 7. A further CZK 125 million have been raised through the account of the Czech Red Cross and the Czech branch of Caritas has reported over CZK 83 million coming into its Ukraine accounts.

A further CZK 160 million was raised through Czech Television’s concert in support of Ukraine held on Wenceslas Square last week and several smaller charity concerts have also been held across the country. Czech Radio is expected to raise further funds through its concert which will see the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra perform in Prague’s Rudolfinum next Monday.

Altogether, Czechs have contributed more than CZK 1.5 billion in humanitarian aid to Ukraine in less than two weeks. This already surpasses the previous record of CZK 1.3 billion, which was raised following the ravaging of South Moravia by a tornado last year.

Aside from helping civilians and refugees, many Czechs are also eager to support Ukraine’s Armed Forces in their asymmetric struggle against a much more powerful Russian Army.  Close to CZK 500 million has been raised for this purpose by an account set up by the Ukrainian Embassy in Prague. Meanwhile, the NGO Post Bellum, normally focused on collecting historical testimonies, has collected around CZK 120 million for purchasing vital materials for the defence of Ukraine ranging from medical materials to drones and helmets.

Aside from financial aid there is also a multitude of ways in which Czechs are trying to help practically. Collections of various materials, such as clothing, are being organised by the state all the way to local cities, schools and businesses. Many Czechs are also offering housing to refugees in their flats and country homes.

Around 100,000 Ukrainian refugees are estimated to have arrived in the Czech Republic since the conflict began, with thousands more expected to arrive in the coming days.