IOC created the first Refugee Olympic Team at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The team acted as a symbol of hope and peace for refugees across the globe. They inspired the world with the strength of their human spirit.
The INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC) launched the OLYMPIC REFUGE FOUNDATION, aimed at pursuing the work undertaken throughout the OLYMPIC movement over recent years to support refugees around the world. The creation of the foundation is a further major initiative that has emerged from the strong and longstanding partnership between the IOC and the UN REFUGEE AGENCY (UNHCR).
The aim of the Olympic Refuge Foundation is to create safe, basic and accessible sports facilities in areas where there are refugees, a displaced migrant population and internally displaced people. Working in close collaboration with the UNHCR and with the relevant partners and local authorities on the ground, the Foundation will develop sporting activities and social development projects that can be implemented in a sustainable way within these safe environments.
The Olympic Refuge Foundation will enter into strategic partnerships with other foundations, international organisations and non-governmental organisations, in order to share experiences and build a collective approach to foster impactful activities that will assist refugees in their social development and integration through sport.
The IOC and UNHCR first began their cooperation in 1994. The collaboration has since seen the implementation of sports projects in more than 45 countries, which has allowed for the provision of basic sports equipment, the rehabilitation of sports grounds and the organisation of regular recreational activities.
Even prior to its launch, the Olympic Refuge Foundation had received pledges of financial support from the Qatar Olympic Committee and the Government of Liechtenstein. The Foundation will fund projects across the world through the generous donations from Olympic Movement partners, governmental institutions and private donations.