Iona Craig

is creating investigative journalism




per month

About Iona Craig

Hi, I’m Iona Craig, a multi-award-winning independent investigative journalist whose work focuses on Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula. I was previously based in Sana'a from 2010 to 2015 covering Yemen’s revolution, the ongoing American covert war in the country and the civil war that began in 2014.

This background gives me unique access and means I am able to provide detailed reporting on U.S. military activity in Yemen as well as some of the most harrowing coverage of the civil war.

When Saudi Arabia launched its military intervention in Yemen in March 2015 I was the only international journalist to repeatedly cross the front lines to report on both sides of the conflict. I crossed the Bab el Mandeb by boat between Djibouti and Aden three times to file reports for TVradio and print from inside the two besieged cities of Aden and Taiz. To date I've travelled over 5,000 miles across the country since the conflict escalated in 2015. More than 1,000 miles of which were through al-Qaeda-controlled territory.

In February 2017 I visited the remote village location of a U.S. Navy SEAL raid described by Donald Trump as "highly successful". Ten children under the age of 13 were killed including a three-month-old baby. In January I went to rural villages behind the front lines of Yemen's civil war where aid agencies have yet to reach. There I met families eating trees to survive amidst the world's largest humanitarian crisis. In September and October 2017 my reporting took me to seven Yemeni governorates in both the Houthi-controlled north and southern, Saudi coalition territory.

In addition to my journalistic work I have carried out research in Sana'a on air dropped bombs for Action On Armed Violence (AOAV), worked as a consultant for the International Crisis Group and carried out workshops and training for journalists in Yemen, the UK and for the Munk School of Global Affairs in Toronto.

My work has appeared in more than twenty publications worldwide and my footage and pictures have been used by multiple television channels across the globe. I also do regular radio reporting for the BBC and Irish broadcaster, RTÉ. I’ve won seven awards for my work from Yemen including most recently a 2018 George Polk Award. In 2016 my reporting on the country’s conflict won the Orwell Prize for journalism, the UK’s most prestigious prize for political writing, having previously won the 2014 Martha Gellhorn Prize - the leading investigative journalism award in Britain - for my reporting on America's covert war in Yemen. In addition to Yemen I have reported from Turkey, Lebanon, Washington DC and the Occupied Territories.

Why I need your support

Despite working in one of the world’s most hostile environments I'm a "modestly compensated freelancer". I do not make a living out of what I do. I depend on grants, prize money and donations to fund my reporting. My trip to Yemen in early 2017 was funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. To keep working on the region's most under-reported conflict I need your support. Costs of getting to and from Yemen (not to mention insurance cover) have spiralled due to the war. It is no longer possible to be based as an independent foreign reporter in the country, so I'm forced to go in and out. 

All sides in the conflict are trying to block access for journalists. This plays into the hands of western governments, including the U.S. and UK, who are fuelling the war, contributing to the humanitarian crisis and also bear responsibility for the growing cholera outbreak. They would rather the wider world remained ignorant to what is happening in Yemen. It is therefore more important than even for me to continue my work in the country. I have been able to get into Yemen and get access to places when no other journalists can. I need your help to keep going back, to make sure the stories from Yemen are told, to ensure people are aware of what is happening, and in order to hold our own governments to account for the devastating impact of their actions.
$727.98 of $1,500 per month
This is what I need to cover my living costs. It means I can focus solely on my reporting without having to take on other work to pay the rent and buy food. A long investigative project I've been working on is still ongoing after more than a year, partly due to the fact that I have to subsidise this work with other paid writing and in order to earn enough to make the rent. (I don't live in a city because it's too expensive. I haven't taken a holiday since 2011.)
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