In September 2017, during its Session in Lima, the International Olympic Committee launched the Olympic Refuge Foundation to support the protection, development, and empowerment of children and youth in vulnerable situations through sport. This initiative emerged from the strong and longstanding partnership with the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, which began in 1994. Working in cooperation with the United Nations, the Olympic Refuge Foundation will support projects across the world on two levels:
- create safe, basic and accessible sports facilities in areas where there are refugees, a displaced migrant population or internally displaced people, where all children and young people can play sport and take advantage of sport’s multiple benefits; and
- develop sporting activities that can be successfully implemented within these safe environments.
Projects will take a community-based approach, with parameters agreed together with the appropriate local partners (UN, NGOs, National Olympic Committees, etc.) and the relevant local authorities to ensure the set-up, operation, and sustainability of projects. These entities will help support these athletes day-by-day, to help them to build their future, while the UNHCR also supports them to continue to convey this positive message of solidarity and hope through sport and advocate the cause of refugees.