September 04, 2015

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The International Olympic Committee is setting up a $2 million fund to assist refugees.

''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,'' IOC President Thomas Bach said Friday.

The IOC has a long-term relationship with the United Nations and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

''We know through experience that sport can ease the plight of refugees, many of them young people and children,'' Bach said. ''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 $1 million from the IOC and another $1 million from its Olympic Solidarity program. The money will be made available to national Olympic committees for programs aimed at helping refugees and migrants.

Bach said the IOC will work on the ground with the national Olympic bodies and expert agencies ''to get help to where it is needed most urgently.''

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