This is the first part of a two-part article on the creation and financing of the Czech Refugee Trust Fund. The article considers the state of affairs that emerged after the Munich Agreement of September 1938: the break-up of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, the accession of parts of Czechoslovakia to Hitler's Germany, the creation of the short lived Czecho-Slovakia (or Second Republic), and the great number of refugees fleeing the country. The most important prerequisite for the creation of the Czech Refugee Trust Fund, which was active in Great Britain throughout the Second World War and, in fact, all the way into the 1970s, was the provision of Anglo-French loans for the reconstruction of post-Munich-Agreement Czecho-Slovakia in January 1939, and, in particular, the L4 million British grant in support of refugees. The primary recipients of British support were, as intended, ethnic Germans (particularly Social Democrats and other opponents of Nazism) and Jews, who sought to escape the Second Republic and whose emigration to British dominions and Palestine was supported by Great Britain. By the time the rump Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany (15 March 1939), however, only part of the loan had been used. Moreover, a problem arose with the support of Czech (and also Slovak) émigrés on British territory. These difficulties were surmounted by the creation of the Czech Refugee Trust Fund, to which the remaining funds from the British grant were finally transferred in January 1940, and then used to support refugees. The means of support and the actual work of the Fund are analyzed in greater detail by the authors in Part Two of their article, which will be published in a future issue of Soudobé dějiny.