New Delhi: As the world continues to grapple with ever-deepening migrant crisis, sports organisations have come out of their comfort zone in a bid to help minimise the impact of worst refugee crisis since World War II.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday joined other sports organisations and clubs by announcing a USD 2 million emergency fund to help refugees. This fund will be made available to National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in their bid to help the migrants.
"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," The official website the IOC quoted its President Thomas Bach as saying.
Emphasising on the power of sports in rebuilding lives, the 61-year-old German added, "We have a long term relationship with the United Nations and with the UNHCR 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. Our thoughts are with the many refugees risking their lives and the lives of their families to escape danger. "
The fund is made up of USD 1 million from the IOC and another USD 1 million from Olympic Solidarity Commission. NOCs and other interested parties have been asked to submit their projects to the IOC to avail the funding.
On Saturday, Real Madrid have announced a USD 1.1m to help support projects for refugees in Spain. Earlier, German club Bayern Munich have already announced to set-up refugees 'training camp' besides offering meals and language classes to the asylum seekers. The Bavarian giants will also play a charity match to raise USD 1.15m for the cause.
Scottish outfit Celtic have also offered their support to the crisis, which has reached a catastrophe level with reports of tragedy coming everyday. On August 3, Portugal national team observed a minute of silence in respect to those who have lost their lives in the crisis.
Europe is struggling as this humanitarian catastrophe all but polarised the 28-member European Union, which has so far failed to cope with the arrival of thousands of migrants.
Syrians topped the list asylum seekers with an estimated four million plus refugees having fled the war-ravaged country since fighting broke out there in 2011. And it has has become full-blown humanitarian crisis in Europe.