The partnership will span the next four years. From next season, the UNHCR/ACNUR logo will appear on the back of the iconic FC Barcelona jerseys worn by the men’s and women’s first team and the Barça Genuine Foundation team, below each player’s number, with the aim of raising awareness of the plight of refugees and forcibly displaced people around the world.
In addition, the Foundation will make a cash contribution of €400,000 per football season towards four UNHCR projects on four continents (€100,000 per project), plus a separate donation (valued by the club at €100,000 per season) of FC Barcelona sports equipment, as well as the technical expertise of the FC Barcelona Foundation’s sports specialists.
By mid-2021, there were around 84 million people forcibly displaced around the world – a figure that has only grown with subsequent displacement in Afghanistan, Ukraine, and other crises. FC Barcelona and the FC Barcelona Foundation are turning their focus to people forced to flee, including children and youth displaced by conflict or persecution. The president of FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta, has stressed the club’s desire to respond to the growing number and complexity of refugee crises.
UNHCR has been increasing its focus on the power of sport to help forcibly displaced people – and local communities that host them – to rebuild their lives.
FC Barcelona, through its Foundation, has collaborated with UNHCR since 2009 in various initiatives and programmes for people forced to flee. The Foundation has developed several of its own programmes in refugee settlements in Greece and Lebanon, and for unaccompanied children in Italy and Spain. In 2019, the FC Barcelona Foundation joined the Sport for Refugees Coalition, which was set up at UNHCR’s Global Refugee Forum, where it pledged to increase availability and access to organized sports and sport-based initiatives for refugee and hosting communities.