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Czech agency against exclusion to bring Brno five million

Brno, 18.4.2008 22:25, (ROMEA/CTK)

The Brno authority will receive five million crowns from the state budget in the next two years to help socially excluded groups of the population, head of the Czech agency against social exclusion Marek Podlaha and Brno Deputy Mayor Daniel Rychnovsky agreed today, Rychnovsky told CTK.

Brno welcomes cooperation with the agency, Rychnovsky said.

The state agency against social exclusion was established by the government at the end of January and started to work in 12 localities across the country in March.

It is expected to help improve the situation of people, mainly Romanies, living in ghettoes.

Rychnovsky said at present many bodies deal with the problems of the socially excluded in Brno, including the Brno authority, local authorities of individual town neighbourhoods, police, trade unions, non-profit organisations and churches.

He said he hoped that the agency would help all these bodies combine their efforts to help socially excluded persons.

The government agency will participate in the activities of a working group the Brno councillors have established to help socially excluded groups and Romanies.

By the end of August, the group will prepare a list of concrete projects that will be funded from the allotted five million crowns.

Rychnovsky said that the Romany community faced such problems and rent default, truancy and drug-addiction.

"Each member of the group will be in charge of one problem," Rychnovsky said.

This should help spend the money more effectively and to exercise better control over its spending than in the past when the Town Hall employed Romany assistants, he said.

In Brno it is most often Romanies who live in socially excluded localities. Experts estimate the number of Romanies in the town at 5000.

The main problem of the Romany community in Brno is housing, Katerina Klamkova from the IQ Roma service group said.

However, Monika Balogova from the Twig Association believes that the problem of employment mainly burdens Romanies. Employers' approach to Romanies remains negative and they do not give Romanies interesting jobs, Balogova said.

Some 250,000 to 300,000 Romanies live in the 10-million Czech Republic and 60.000 to 80,000 of them live in the socially excluded localities.

A majority of adults in these localities are unemployed, the families live in often inappropriate conditions and they depend on social benefits. Most children attend special schools. Many of them have never seen their parents working.

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