IOC announces emergency fund to help refugee crisis

IOC president Thomas Bach has pledged financial support for refugees

The International Olympic Committee has announced an emergency $2 million (£1.3 million) fund to help refugees.

The money will be made available to National Olympic Committees for programmes focused on refugees as the IOC reacts to the crisis in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

NOCs and other interested parties will be asked to submit projects to the IOC for funding, with half of the money coming from the IOC and the other half from Olympic Solidarity.

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IOC president Thomas Bach said: "We have all been touched by the terrible news and the heartbreaking stories in the past few days.

"With this terrible crisis unfolding across the Middle East, Africa and Europe, sport and the Olympic Movement wanted to play its part in bringing humanitarian help to the refugees.

"We made a quick decision that we needed to take action and to make this fund available immediately.

"We have a long term relationship with the United Nations and with the UNHCR (the UN's refugee agency) and we draw on their help and expertise. We know through experience that sport can ease the plight of refugees, many of them young people and children, be they in the Middle East, Africa, Europe or in other parts of the world.

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"Our thoughts are with the many refugees risking their lives and the lives of their families to escape danger. "

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