UN Refugee Agency launches sport strategy
UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, has launched its first-ever sport strategy.
‘More than a Game’ outlines how the organisation plans to leverage sport’s communication, advocacy, diplomatic and resource mobilisation potential in order to improve the lives of displaced and stateless people.
The UNHCR’s strategy is underpinned by five strategic objectives. These include play-based programming to improve social inclusion, social cohesion and psychosocial wellbeing; ensuring refugees with elite sporting talent can train, compete and potentially live in another country; utilising sport’s global reach as a communication platform for displacement issues; leveraging sport diplomacy between nations; and maximising the sports industry’s resource-mobilisation potential.
Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, stated in the strategic document that the launch marked UNHCR’s intent to lay foundations with internal and external stakeholders for a coherent and consistent approach to engaging the sporting landscape.
“Engagement in sport is about much more than training budding Olympians and providing fun, positive and developmental activities, although these are very important,”
“It is also about an entire system of organisations with the capacity and potential to contribute to protecting, responding, empowering, including and solving the plight of the people UNHCR serves – the very strategic directions that we have identified as essential to improve refugees’ lives.”
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