Media Recovery Fund

The December 2021 meeting of the Joint Recovery Mechanism began with an update about the Lebanon Media Recovery Fund.

The Lebanon Media Recovery Fund was launched by the Samir Kassir Foundation (Skeyes) with the purpose of responding directly to the immediate needs of journalists and media agents in Lebanon.

Ayman Mhanna, the director of the SKeyes Center, provided updates on the Media Recovery Fund, which was launched after the Beirut blast in August 2020.

He began by emphasising that it is widely recognised that the Fund is not a long-term solution to the challenges faced by Lebanese media.

“Short term and emergency aid is not enough to establish a new culture for journalism. We’re not naive that with one project alone, we can establish a full new culture, but it was very important to actually put media outlets in Lebanon on the paths for better journalism, on the path for better sustainability.” - Ayman Mhanna

Mhanna advised that all the grants received for the Fund would have been used by the end of December, with the exception of the OSF grant ending on January 31st, 2022.

Support to journalists

The Media Recovery Fund has supported individual journalists in the following ways:

  • $108,000 for livelihood support (house repairs, car replacement, education support for journalists’ children (42 children have been beneficiaries).

  • $17,000 for the health insurance of 11 journalists and their families.

  • $17,200 for the replacement of the equipment of six journalists who lost it in the Beirut blast

  • $4,000 in medical support for wounded journalists who required long-term treatment.

  • $3,000 for the psycho-social support of journalists.

“These numbers might appear low, relatively, but if you calculate them in terms of (the) Lebanese pound, given the inflation that happened in the country and the devaluation of the pound, we’re talking about numbers in the many millions. Because the funds we receive are in US dollars, a small amount in US dollars is able to help a lot.” - Ayman Mhanna

Support to investigative journalism

Mhanna reported that the Fund has been used to support "a new culture of investigative journalism" through grants to a number of Lebanese media organisations amounting to $290,000.

Investigations have focused on corruption, accountability and governance issues, including:

  • the August 2020 Beirut port explosion

  • mismanagement of international aid received after the Beirut blast

  • mismanagement of EU funds destined to solid waste and water sanitation

  • Russian involvement in Lebanon's refineries

  • management of international aid received after the Beirut blast.


The Fund has also been used to cover the costs of translation, building web tools, travel, the salaries of the staff who managed the day-today running of the fund, and participation at international conferences.


“All the people who took part in supporting it will receive a very detailed final report end of January alongside an audit report for the Media Recovery Fund.” - Ayman Mhanna

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