The state gave CZK 3.84 billion in aid to refugees from Ukraine in January and February

State budget expenditures related to aid to refugees from Ukraine amounted to CZK 3.84 billion in January and February this year. It accounted for 0.17 percent of total state spending for the period, the Finance Ministry said on Twitter on Monday. Some of that money went to Czech beneficiaries who accommodated refugees fleeing the war.

“The largest expenditure items are humanitarian benefits, state payments for health insurance, and accommodation expenses, whose beneficiaries are Czech households,” the ministry said.

The structure of expenditure items has remained similar over the long term. Last year, spending on refugee accommodation accounted for about one-sixth of all funds.

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine last February, the Czech Republic has granted temporary protection to some 498,000 Ukrainian refugees, the Interior Ministry said. Most of them were women and children. The exact number of refugees still residing in the Czech Republic is unknown, with the latest estimates being around 300,000.

Interior Minister Vít Rakušan (STAN) said on Sunday that 271,000 people had applied for a one-year extension of temporary protection in the Czech Republic until the end of March 2024. People must register electronically by the end of March this year to extend their protection, which allows them access to public health insurance, education, or the labor market.