IFJ Pledges Special Solidarity Fund to Aid Pakistan Media Victims

The International Federation of Journalists today announced that a special fund to provide relief to the media victims of natural disasters will be available to journalists and their families affected by the Pakistan earthquake tragedy.

The IFJ-affiliated Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) says three journalists have died, 11 have been injured and another five are missing after the quake which killed over 40,000 people and left at least two million people homeless.

The IFJ announced that a special disaster relief fund, set up partly with funds donated in memory of former IFJ Senior Vice President Gustl Glattfelder, will be used to help the victims.

“This is a terrible tragedy for the people of Pakistan and, inevitably for the community of journalists,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “And they need practical help and assistance. We will do every thing we can to assist the victims and their families and we have already allocated urgent relief for that purpose.”

According to reports from the PFUJ up to 50 journalists have lost relatives or their homes. “This is a dark moment for journalism in Pakistan and we have the deepest sympathy for all of those affected by the disaster,” said White. “Our members will do everything they can to help.”

Earlier this year IFJ member unions responded generously to a special assistance fund established to help journalists in Indonesia and Sri Lanka affected by the Asian tsunami.

“This is another case where journalists are not only reporting on a disaster, they are sadly among the victims. They do great credit to the profession by their efforts and they deserve our full support,” said White.

The PFUJ has named the journalists killed by the earthquake as Sardar Hanif of the daily Jang; Abdul Hafeez, the editor of Jurrat from Muzaffarabad, and his wife; and Javed Iqbal Butt, a photographer from the daily Jinnah. The PFUJ also says that one journalist Naim Khokar of Jang, lost 44 members of his family.

For more information about contributing to relief efforts for journalists in Pakistan, contact PFUJ Secretary General Mazhar Abbas at [email protected] or the IFJ Asia Pacific Office at [email protected]

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries