Lausanne [Switzerland], December 9 (ANI): The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced an aid package of USD 560,000 to help up to 2,000 Afghan beneficiaries carry on their sporting activities.
"An aid package of up to USD 560,000 was approved today by the IOC Executive Board; this will benefit up to 2,000 beneficiaries and help them over the winter to carry on their sporting activities," IOC said in a statement.
National sports team elite athletes and coaches, in addition to National Federation officials still living in Afghanistan, will be eligible to access this financial aid, and priority will be given to women. According to the statement, this one-off assistance of USD 265 per beneficiary - in line with UNHCR's winterisation programme - will also be extended to the Afghan Paralympic community and to non-Olympic-sport National Federations.
"This follows the help we have offered to the Olympic community in Afghanistan in order to receive humanitarian visas, which led to 300 of them being able to leave the country," said IOC President Thomas Bach.
He added: "It is also a result of our talks and our quiet diplomacy efforts with the Taliban. Not only do they accept this help, but they support it. It shows that quiet diplomacy works, and what effect it can have.""This humanitarian aid package can only be implemented because of our excellent partnership with UNHCR and the UN High Commissioner, Filippo Grandi," he concluded.
According to the statement, UNHCR, which has a strong presence in Afghanistan, has confirmed that it could distribute the IOC humanitarian funding directly to the members of the Olympic community in Afghanistan.
After consultation with the Taliban, it has been agreed that the IOC and the elected office-bearers of the Afghan National Olympic Committee (NOC) will cooperate to consolidate the list of candidates with the respective National Federations to ensure a transparent and fair selection process. (ANI)