On September 19, in a special session featuring Secretary Hillary Clinton at the 2023 Clinton Global Initiative meeting, Jeanne Bourgault, President and CEO of Internews, launched the Internews Risk and Response Fund – a pioneering effort to support journalists and media outlets under existential threat.
Media Turn to Internews in Crisis
Over the course of 40 years, Internews has partnered with thousands of journalists, media outlets, and technology pioneers in more than 100 countries. Many of these information entrepreneurs live in low-income communities, conflict zones, or areas plagued by humanitarian disasters. In times of crisis, these partners turn to us for help, whether it’s emergency financial support, digital security, or creative ways to maintain news production under incredibly challenging conditions.
From Afghanistan to Ukraine, Funds are Needed to Cover Urgent Crises
When it comes to supporting local media, Internews is committed to working where information is most at threat. Every year, Internews provides urgent support at a moment’s notice:
- When Russia invaded Ukraine, Internews was the first to deliver flak jackets and other safety equipment to journalists in occupied Kherson.
- When the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan, Internews spent nearly $800,000 on emergency living stipends, flight support, and lodging to evacuate journalists at extreme risk.
- When the recent conflict broke out in Sudan, Internews provided urgent support to radio stations in Chad to distribute life-saving information for Sudanese refugees.
The funds needed for this type of urgent response are not found in our traditional grant funding. With each crisis, we scramble for resources at a time when we should be laser-focused on saving people’s lives and livelihoods. We aim to change that.
With the Clinton Global Initiative, we launched the $10 Million Risk and Response Fund
Our announcement at the Clinton Global Initiative comes at a time when the scale of attacks against the media worldwide continues to grow. The Risk and Response Fund is a $10 million pool of unrestricted resources that can be deployed with speed when a crisis strikes. It will also ensure Internews has unrestricted funds to cover the organizational risks and costs inherent in operating a multinational nonprofit with programs in the places that need information most.
We have successfully secured $2.5 million in funding. Now, we are calling on donors to help us meet our ambitious target – and provide lifesaving support to journalists globally.