The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan is home to some 80,000 refugees. Even with international aid pouring in, living conditions in the camp are extremely harsh. Last year the Czech government sent 40 million crowns to Jordan to finance housing units for some 2,000 refugees. Aid money earmarked this year is being used for the camps electrification. And Jordan is one of the countries targeted by the Czech government’s humanitarian medical aid program MEDEVAC, thanks to which around a thousand patients will be operated on this year. I spoke to Jordanian
One of the three Syrian families who were granted asylum in the Czech Republic and whose children were to receive treatment within the Medevac aid programme has departed for Germany, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec reported on Friday. The minister said they left the country shortly after arriving in Prague and it was not possible for the authorities to keep them here against their will. They were the first of a larger group of 15 Syrian families selected by specialists from camps in Jordan in order to give the children medical care which cannot be administered inside the refugee camps. The first three children who arrived had a heart defect, muscle dystrophia and severe burns.
The Czech military will pay about one billion crowns for the maintenance of its ten W-3A Sokol rescue helicopters between 2015-2021, Defence Ministry spokesman Petr Medek told the CTK news agency. The government is to debate the respective contract on Wednesday. The Sokol helicopters are mainly used in rescue operations, but also for humanitarian evacuations or for the transport of foreign nationals flown to the Czech Republic for treatment within the MEDEVAC programme.
Czech hospitals will not accept Syrian patients for treatment as part of the international MEDEVAC programme, the news website lidovky.cz reports. In areas with the presence of the Islamic State People hostile to the Czech Republic could pose as patients, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry told the website. In the past, 14 child and adult patients from Syria received treatment in the Czech Republic. The change in attitude has been criticized by the Czech Catholic Church; treating small groups of people suffering in a humanitarian crisis in the Middle East is in line with our society’s fundamental values, the Czech Bishops’ Conference said.
The Czech Republic is looking to expand cooperation with China following a recent reset of relations with that country. Two months after a ground-breaking trip to Beijing by the Czech foreign minister, the minister of industry and trade, Jan Mládek, has just visited China in an effort to boost trade, investment and tourism links between the two nations.
The condition of a number of Ukrainian nationals, injured in recent
anti-government demonstrations in Kiev, has improved somewhat, according to
a spokesman. In all, 27 patients are being treated in Czech hospitals. Some
of the demonstrators – who came out against now deposed president Viktor
Yanukovich – had suffered broken shins, or facial injuries such as a
cracked eye socket.
Back in Ukraine, tensions are continuing to rise over the peninsula of Crimea and involvement by Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday asked his country’s upper house to approve the use of troops in Ukraine, allegedly to protect the lives of Russian citizens there. A day earlier, US President Barack Obama warned Russia not to interfere militarily in Ukraine.
A Czech military plane brought five injured Libyans to Prague for treatment on Monday night. All are in need of surgery which overcrowded hospitals in their homeland are unable to provide. An appeal from Libya for European countries to help treat their wounded has led to the Czech government extending its Medevac aid programme for children to adults with serious medical problems.