The IFSC solidarity programme is designed to send climbers to the Paris World Championships ©IFSC

The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) has launched its solidarity programme for 2016, which is designed to help athletes attend this year's World Championships in Paris.

The initiative is a joint collaboration with the French Climbing Federation (FFME), who are organising the event in the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic bidding city.

Athletes from all five IFSC continents will be given the opportunity to receive money to put towards accommodation and travel costs.

The governing body has run a solidarity programme since 2005, with the project particularly aimed at its smaller member nations.

It is hoped the financial help will maximise the number of countries represented at the World Championships, which will take place between September 14 and 18 at the AccorHotels Arena.

More than 500 climbers are expected to take part in Paris in all, in what could be the sport's first major event after its inclusion on the Olympic programme for Tokyo 2020.

Sport climbing could be added to the Tokyo 2020 programme
Sport climbing could be added to the Tokyo 2020 programme ©IFSC

Climbing is one of five sports recommended for inclusion, along with baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding and surfing.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is due to make a final decision at its Session this year in Rio de Janeiro, ahead of the Olympic Games in August.

A greater number of countries taking part in major events such as the World Championships will provide a boost to the IFSC's cause.

The IFSC Climbing World Championships are held every two years and feature sport climbing, lead climbing, bouldering and speed climbing.

They were first organised in Frankfurt in 1991.

They were last held in Paris in 2012 when the IFSC held them a year after the event in Arco in Italy so as to switch it so the Championships took place in even years.

This year's event is expected to attract 18,000 fans.