The humanitarian news service IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks), after nearly 20 years as part of the United Nations, announced that it will spin off to become an independent, non-profit media venture, with the support of a major private donor.
“IRIN is an important resource for humanitarian workers around the world,” said Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, adding that “this is the right time for the service to branch out.
She welcomed the generous commitment from Hong Kong-based Jynwel Charitable Foundation “which has helped to secure its future as an independent news service.”
The new headquarters will be based in Switzerland, with support from the UK-based Overseas Development Institute’s (ODI) Humanitarian Policy Group.
“IRIN’s transition presents a great opportunity for growth and revitalization,” said Jho Low, Director of Jynwel Charitable Foundation, adding that “IRIN has done fantastic work for nearly 20 years. It’s time to give it the place on the world stage that it deserves. I believe in the vision and am excited by the potential.”
IRIN covers parts of the world often under-reported, misunderstood or ignored. It started distributing humanitarian news about Central Africa by fax from a small office in Nairobi in 1995. Its readership includes UN decision-makers, donor governments, academics, media and aid workers in the field. Its work is syndicated, republished and cited by news outlets and journals from around the world.
[UN News Centre]