The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved the distribution of $509 million to various national sporting committees across the world, on Thursday, following an executive board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The funds, part of the Olympic Solidarity 2017-2020 Quadrennial Plan, have seen an increase of 16 percent from the $439 million it dispersed over the 2013-2016 period.
“The increase shows that the athletes remain at the heart of all our activity,” said Pere Miró, Deputy Director General for Relations with the Olympic Movement and Director of Olympic Solidarity.
The meeting confirmed that the funds, scheduled to be transferred over the next four years, represent a share of broadcast revenue from the 2016 Rio Summer Games and 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.
"$ 0.5 Bn for Olympic Solidarity builds on success of Rio, shows our worldwide solidarity with athletes and social responsibility" Pres Bach
— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) November 11, 2016
The 21 point plan aims to assist National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in the training of athletes, coaches, and sports administrators.
One of the new programmes includes the Refugee Athlete Support program, aimed to help NOCs to support a small number of refugee athletes that are living in their countries to prepare and participate in international sporting competitions.
The first refugee team participated in this year’s Rio Olympic games, receiving a standing ovation and overwhelming messages of support.
IOC President Thomas Bach’s, at the official closing ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games, thanked the refugee athletes that participated.
“You have inspired us with your talent and human spirit. We will continue to stay at your side after these Olympic Games,” Bach said.