Int’l Olympic Committee pledges over USD45-M at Global Refugee Forum

December 14, 2023, 3:21 pm

GENEVA – The president of the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday pledged more than USD45 million for displaced people at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva.

"We are committing over USD45 million benefiting approximately 500,000 displaced people,” Thomas Bach said, citing that the committee's new pledge is valid for the next four years.

Bach said the committee's efforts would improve access to safe sports, protection, and inclusion in 25 countries.

He also announced another pledge to support refugee athletes, saying, "I'm very happy to also announce that the International Olympic Committee and our Olympic Refuge Foundation are committing USD50 million to support refugee athletes."

He said the IOC Refugee Olympic Team would be led by a refugee athlete in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games for the first time.

"With far too many wars and conflicts, displacing millions of people on a scale we have never seen before, the power of sport has never been more important," he said.

The three-day forum, which concludes on Friday, is the largest quadrennial international meeting on refugee issues.

Its purpose is to support the practical implementation of the objectives outlined in the Global Compact on Refugees, which include easing pressures on host countries, enhancing refugee self-reliance, increasing access to third-country solutions, and improving conditions in countries of origin.

The gathering also allows states and stakeholders to make concrete commitments and contributions.

It is co-convened by five states – Colombia, France, Japan, Jordan, and Uganda – and co-hosted by the government of Switzerland and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

With refugee numbers rising due to armed conflicts, environmental pressures, and natural disasters, this year’s forum will press forward to help alleviate a growing international issue. (Anadolu)