November 28, 2023

The UCI helps rescue 165 refugees from Afghanistan

The UCI helps rescue 165 refugees from Afghanistan

The World Cycling Association has announced that it is participating in an operation to rescue 165 refugees from Afghanistan.

We previously spoke to MTB Afghanistan about its evacuation program with Outride, but in a separate effort, the UCI has worked with Sylvan Adams, owner of the UCI WorldTeam Israel Start-Up Nation, the non-governmental organization IsraelAID, several governments and the Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) and FIFA decided The evacuation of Afghan nationals, including cyclists, members of the cycling department, artists, a judge, several journalists and human rights defenders.

The refugees were able to reach Europe via Tirana, Albania. From there they were resettled, 38 of them went to Switzerland and the rest to Canada, France, Israel and the USA.

The 38 people who arrived in Switzerland, the headquarters of the UCI, were received by government authorities on humanitarian visas. In the near future, there is hope that they will be able to join the UCI World Cycling Center (WCC), a UCI training and coaching center in Aigle, Switzerland that also provides accommodation options that are normally offered to center trainees.

It is extremely important for the UCI to intervene with members of the cycling family who are experiencing the current situation in Afghanistan, and I am pleased that our efforts in this regard are providing the affected people with opportunities for decent living conditions. . My sincere thanks to the governments of Switzerland, France, Canada, Albania, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and other countries that contributed to this project. I would also like to thank Philippe Loba, Head of the Department of Economy, Innovation and Sports in Canton Vaud, who has been involved in the process since the fall of Kabul and who has spent the whole past week in Tirana, for the practical and administrative procedures for her entry into Switzerland.

I would also like to thank Mr. Osama Ahmed Abdullah Al Shafar, Vice President of the UCI and President of the Asian Cycling Confederation, for his critical commitment to the ongoing operations, and of course IsraelAID and CEO Yotam Pulitzer and Sylvain Adams who provided the IsraelAID project and funded the evacuation. I would also like to pay tribute and commend the Afghan cycling community, who have worked under the auspices of our national federation and its president, Fazli Ahmad Fazli, to provide vital assistance with the evacuations.

David LaPartient, President of the International Cycling Federation

more information, Here.

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