Kiska: Making Humanitarian Aid Cost Item for Firms Would Be Good Step

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President Andrej Kiska meeting representatives of NGOs focused on the humanitarian assistance (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 17 (TASR) – President Andrej Kiska thinks that if the Government is willing to include humanitarian help provided by private entities in their expenditures, many firms would appreciate it, TASR learnt on Tuesday.

“Including humanitarian assistance in the cost items of commercial entities is the right step for sure,” said Kiska after meeting representatives of non-governmental organisations focused on humanitarian aid on Tuesday.

Kiska invited to the Presidential palace representatives of various NGOs, including ones involved in the migration crisis as doctors or medical assistants.

“I wanted to discuss Slovakia’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of humanitarian aid with those who actually provide the help. I’m leaving this meeting satisfied that there are countries that talk about Slovakia a lot. Despite the fact that we’re a small country, we’re able to help tremendously,” said Kiska, praising the fact that the Government recently doubled the volume of Slovakia’s humanitarian aid.

One of the representatives was Maria Sliacka, director of a financial help project for internally displaced persons from eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak bestowed the Minister’s Golden Plaque for Development and Humanitarian Aid on Sliacka. “The meeting was very positive. We’ve been able to tell ourselves that Slovakia is capable of providing humanitarian assistance very effectively. But, of course, there are things that do bother us; it’s mostly money, of which there could be more. It’s not only a question aimed at ministries that redistribute these finances but also at the public, which responds to humanitarian crises around the world and is also able to contribute financially,” said Sliacka.

She also said that the main commitment that should be accepted at the World Humanitarian Summit that is set to take place in Istanbul between May 23-24 should be to provide only financial humanitarian help. “The needs of people in distress differ. Providing shoes of specific sizes is hard to carry through. If a firm sends 30,000 shoes, there could be some people that won’t find anything to fit them,” she added.

Hugo Gloss, manager of development and humanitarian aid from the Slovak Catholic Charity, also showed appreciation for the president’s interest in humanitarian assistance. “We’re glad that the president is genuinely interested in what we’re doing and is looking for ways and means of making aid even more effective in order to promote Slovakia abroad as well as to help those who are in need of assistance,” stated Gloss.

Kiska, accompanied by representatives of Slovak diplomacy and humanitarian NGOs, will represent Slovakia at the aforementioned summit.