Five NOCs in Europe have pledged their support to the refugee crisis ©EOC

The National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark and Slovenia have all initiated projects to help with the refugee crisis - using part of the $2 million (£1.3 million/€1.8 million) in emergency funds provided by the International Olympic Committee.

The Austrian NOC has initiated sports programmes for refugees and is using its five Olympic Centres, spread across the country, to house those seeking refuge.

In Belgium, the NOC is working with charity Red Cross to supply sporting equipment to refugee holding centres and has requested the collaboration of the Sports Ministers in of the Flemish, German-speaking and Walloon regions in their efforts.

The Bulgarian NOC will hold regional sporting events in two cities, Blagoevgrad and Vratsa, for children in need of parental care.

The competitions, held under the “Let's give every child a chance to feel the joy of sport” mantra, will feature mini football, basketball, athletics, badminton and table tennis, with the winners of each respective event going on to participate in national finals.

A similar scheme entitled “get2sport for all” has been launched by the Danish NOC, aimed at helping refugees get involved in sports activities at the 16,000 local clubs across the nation.

The five NOCs have begun various programmes to help with the refugee crisis
The five NOCs have begun various programmes to help with the refugee crisis ©Getty Images

The Slovenian Olympic Committee & Sports Association has begun a two-pronged effort to aid the refugee crisis, providing humanitarian aid such as food and water, as well as holding mini Olympic-style sporting competitions in refugee centres throughout the country.

The work of the five NOCs follows the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) joining charities and human rights organisations to launch a campaign aiming to show that refugees are welcome in the nation.

It comes in response to the crisis which has seen refugees from the Middle East and Africa attempt to reach Europe in search of safety.

The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has estimated more than 300,000 refugees and migrants have attempted to reach Europe so far this year.

Around 2,600 migrants and refugees are believed to have died in making dangerous sea crossings across the Mediterranean after fleeing their homes, mainly as a result of war.

Roughly $500,000 (£331,000/€463,000) of the funds have been allocated and other NOCs who may be interested in getting involved can do so by e-mailing  [email protected].

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