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IFJ Welcomes New Vintu Partnership to Assist Stricken Media Families

May 2, 2009

As part of its World Press Freedom Day actions, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has announced a new agreement with the Brussels-based Vintu Foundation to provide humanitarian assistance to families of journalists and media personnel who are killed on duty.

The first agreement between the IFJ and the Vintu Foundation for Excellency in Education and Journalism, founded by Romanian media owner Sorin Ovidiu Vintu, was signed in 2007 when a special Fund was created to specifically assist families who lose a breadwinner as a result of their work in the media. The agreement was first renewed in 2008.

"The assistance provided under the Fund has proved over the last two years a genuine lifeline to families of colleagues from all over the world," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "We welcome the Vintu Foundation's continuous commitment to the Fund and its generous support to our humanitarian assistance."

The Vintu Fund, administered by the IFJ, provides monthly payments for a year to 10 journalists' families who lose household head or the family's breadwinner to violence related to that person's work as a journalist.

Since its insertion, the Fund has provided assistance to families of journalists from the following countries: Afghanistan, Colombia( 2 families) Democratic Republic of Congo ( 5 families), Iraq (7 families), the Philippines ( 2 families), Pakistan, Russia, Somalia ( 3 families), Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

"World Press Freedom Day is about the working and living conditions of journalists," added White. "Those who pay the ultimate sacrifice for their profession must be able to count on our solidarity to spare their families financial hardship."

For more information contact:
Ernest Sagaga
International Federation of Journalists
Phone: 32 2 235 22 07

Cristian Unteanu
Vintu Foundation
Phone: 32 2 230 83 77

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