The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will give two million dollars in emergency funds to help ease the migrant crisis in Europe, IOC president Thomas Bach said Friday.
“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,” Bach said.
National Olympic committees will be asked to submit ideas for projects to help migrants and refugees that can be funded by the Olympic movement and its Olympic Solidarity fund.
“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,” said Bach.
“Because of the nature of the crisis the assessment of projects and the distribution of funds will be carried out extremely quickly,” Bach vowed.
The gesture came after German football giants Bayern Munich said on Thursday they would give one million euros ($1.1 million) to projects to support refugees pouring into Germany.
The club is working with Munich authorities to set up ‘training camps’ for children to receive German lessons, meals and football kits.
Other German teams have also offered aid to the tens of thousands of migrants who have entered the country this year as growing numbers flee Syria and other crisis zones.