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December 01, 2014

$25-Million Gift Restarts U.N. News Agency as Nonprofit

Hong Kong investor Jho Low's family foundation has committed $25-million to save the United Nations' financially ailing news service, which will become a nonprofit journalism venture, reports The New York Times. Integrated Regional Information Networks has operated for nearly 20 years under the aegis of the U.N. office that coordinates humanitarian aid, reporting on disaster relief and development work.

A series of global emergencies brought more readers to IRIN, as the online network was known, but strained U.N. finances to the point that it planned to close the news operation at the end of the year. With the pledge from the Jynwel Foundation, to be paid over 15 years, the Geneva-based network will relaunch in January as an independent nonprofit. Mr. Low termed the gift "one of the most profound social investments our foundation has made," with the potential to raise awareness of global humanitarian needs and broaden the base of philanthropic support to meet them.