Czech Republic: A social protection country profile for the Ukraine crisis response

This profile was developed with the available information between 26/04/2022 and 13/06/2022, as a supplement to the overarching briefing paper Humanitarian Assistance and Social Protection Linkages: Strengthening shock-responsiveness of social protection systems in the Ukraine crisis.

Some key messages:

  • There is no ongoing cash response at scale by aid agencies from the information that could be gathered. The Czech Republic set up its response, which helped 80,000 Ukrainians register for temporary protection, out of the 300,000 that have crossed the border.
  • The Czech Republic has a strong social protection system in comparison with other EU countries, which results in a lower-than-average rate of people at risk of poverty, exclusion and deprivation. However, the country has pockets of the population living in extremely dire conditions, including one of the highest rates of homelessness (caused by personal debt) and persistent social exclusion of the Roma. Poverty remains concentrated among single parents, the elderly and people with disabilities. The social protection system, including the social care workforce, isn’t yet fully able to address this poverty and vulnerability. The World Bank has advised the Czech Republic to continue to reform its social benefits program to address deprivation. Shock responsiveness of the State social protection system would need to be considered as part of this reform.
  • Despite a poor track record on refugee affairs, the Czech Republic has been largely welcoming to Ukrainians, even before the recent invasion. The country has been able to set up, in collaboration with UNHCR and the wide range of experienced local actors, a comprehensive response, which includes full integration into the Czech social protection system. Institutionally, the Czech Republic Social protection system has been able to deal with the increased arrival of refugees and respond to immediate needs by establishing a specific, yet temporary, scheme.