NOC Slovakia and UNHCR in Slovakia sign partnership to support refugees through sports

The National Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Slovakia and the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee signed a Memorandum of Understanding today to strengthen collaboration with the Olympic Movement and the Sport Associations in Slovakia.

The Head of the UNHCR National Office in Slovakia, Ms. Danijela Popovic-Efendic signed the MoU at the headquarters of the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee. President Anton SIEKEL signed on behalf of the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee.

The partnership aims to expand the use of sport and strengthen engagement with the sport associations and sport actors to benefit refugees and other forcibly displaced people by taking part in sport at all levels. Sport and play can support refugees to improve their physical and mental well-being and to create a sense of belonging, helping them to feel included in their host communities.

At the global level, UNHCR and the International Olympic Committee have a long-standing partnership which has been strengthened through the creation of the Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF) chaired by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President and UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

In Slovakia, the partnership between UNHCR and the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee will build on the work between UNHCR – ORF and the IOC promoting sport and the role sport organizations can play in refugee responses. Today’s signing represents the first MoU between UNHCR and a National Olympic Committee in Europe.

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