On 26 November 2020, UNESCO and Germany signed a funding agreement for a first support to the Global Media Defence of an amount of EUR 100,000 (US$ 120,000). The agreement was signed by His Excellency Peter Reuss, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Germany to UNESCO, with Xing Qu, UNESCO Deputy Director-General, and interim Assistant-Director-General for Communication and Information.
Germany joins forces with other seven donors, becoming the third largest contributor to this fund, created one year ago. The initial donors were the United Kingdom and Canada with their respective pledges of £3 million (US$3,95 M) over five years, and of one million Canadian Dollars in 2019, and an additional million in 2020 (for a total of US$ 1,52 M). Other donors that have contributed so far are the Czech Republic (US$ 12,952 in 2019, and US$ 13,302 in 2020), as well as Latvia and Luxemburg (each EUR 10,000 in 2019). An additional donation of EUR 30,000 (US$ 36,000) has also been pledged by Serbia.
The Global Media Defence Fund’s first Call for Partnerships received 110 proposals from not-for profit organizations from all regions of the world and targeting over 50 countries. Among the 44 preselected proposals,17 are situated in Africa and a majority from the Global South (See). The Fund is also supporting the work of the High-Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom. This Fund synergizes with other activities implemented by UNESCO in the field of freedom of expression, and its action contributes to the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.
The Media Freedom Coalition is a partnership of countries that have agreed to work together to advocate for media freedom and the safety of journalists, as well as to raise the costs to those who harm journalists for doing their job. Formed at the initiative of the governments of the United Kingdom and Canada, as part of the Global Campaign on Media Freedom, which has also triggered the creation of the Global Media Defence Fund, administered by UNESCO.