Journalists in Distress

"I don’t exactly know how I can thank you enough after I’ve spent six long months of misery. Indeed it is very kind of you and your organization to think of me and present me with such a great help. I first shifted to a safer location, and your input was vital in moving me from Uganda to a secure town in Norway. Thank you so much time and again."

- Dessale Berekhet Abraham, Eritrean journalist and blogger forced to flee after release from prison. 2013 CJFE International Press Freedom Award winner.

CJFE's Journalists in Distress Fund provides humanitarian assistance to journalists whose lives and well-being are threatened. In most cases, the journalists we help have been attacked or threatened because of their profession.


About the Journalists in Distress Fund

• The recipient must be a journalist, vetted or verifiable by either an IFEX member or an organisation that provides journalist assistance
• Preference is given to cases where danger to the journalist is imminent or the situation is urgent
• The amount granted typically ranges from $500 to $1500 CDN, depending on the case
• Journalists are eligible for a maximum of two separate grants from CJFE
• Since its creation in 1999, the fund has disbursed over $240,000 CDN

What does the Journalists in Distress Fund provide financial support for?

• Lawyers' fees when journalists are detained
• Medical expenses when they are caught in the line of fire or traumatized by their coverage
• Transportation costs when they are forced to flee
• Financial support for the families of journalists who have been killed or imprisoned
• Resettlement costs within first year of arriving in final safe country

The Journalists in Distress Fund will not  support:

• Ongoing expenses which will not lead to the resolution of the journalist’s predicament
• Ongoing expenses to organizations, institutions, or enterprises
• Support for education, professional development or public appearances
• An applicant who is facing a problem that is unrelated to their work as a journalist (ex. the journalist has been diagnosed with cancer and needs medical attention)
• An applicant who has been found to be engaged in fraudulent activity


To apply to the Journalists in Distress Fund, please download the attached application form. Please note that we are unfortunately only able to accept applications in English.

To learn more about the Journalists in Distress Fund, or to request the application form in Word instead of PDF format, please contact us at


To see a list of other organizations with distress funds and grants, please refer to the IFEX: Opportunities and Assistance page.

Syria Media Safety
Syria is currently one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, especially for Syrian journalists. The Rory Peck Trust and Committee to Protect Journalists have created a safety resource for Syrian journalists to help those working in or near the country. This resource provides essential information on safety, digital security and trauma support, and direct, secure access to emergency assistance. It is also available in Arabic with English translations.

East Africa Journalists in Exile
The Rory Peck Trust has developed a resource for freelance journalists working in the East and Horn of Africa. East Africa Journalists in Exile aims to assist exiled journalists living in Kenya and Uganda in improving their situation and accessing support. The website includes links to organizations providing support to journalists in the region, guidance on applying for refugee status, and a security assessment form to aid journalists in exile in managing and reducing threats to their safety.

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