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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced a Board decision to allocate an initial sum of US$1 million to be used to provide financial assistance to support access to Internet infrastructure in emergency situations.
"Over the past 10 days, we have watched events unfold in Ukraine and the surrounding region that are tragic and profoundly troubling," said ICANN Board Chair Maarten Botterman. "Our hearts go out to the millions of people who are suffering from the violence as well as the related consequences that are impacting their lives."
The ICANN Board has directed ICANN President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Göran Marby to develop a process and disperse financial assistance to support the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet's unique identifier systems, specifically to support mitigation measures where access to the Internet infrastructure is jeopardized by sudden, unexpected events beyond the control of the affected users. The ICANN Board expects that the distribution directed today will focus on support for maintaining Internet access for users within Ukraine.
The Board also recognizes the value of providing this type of support on a longer-term basis and has directed the CEO to evaluate whether and how to instill this effort for future budget years.
Botterman further explained the Board's rationale for its decision, "ICANN stands for a single, global, and interoperable Internet that serves all people around the world in exercising their fundamental human rights, including the human right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas. It is through unimpeded access to the Internet and the free flow of information that people can gain knowledge and exposure to a diversity of viewpoints and information. This is especially critical when timely access to information and communication may be life-saving."
This action is intended to have a positive impact on the security, stability, and resiliency of the domain name system as it will make funding available to maintain accessibility when operators or others might otherwise not have the resources to do so. The Board's action is within ICANN's mission as it directly supports ICANN's core role and is within the global public interest.