Other Group

Anna Lindh Foundation




Grantmaking organization




Josep Ferré


Von Gerber House, 26th July Road #57


Alexandria, Egypt

Budget (2018-2021):

€17.71 million

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The Anna Lindh Foundation is an activism and grantmaking organization which promotes left-of-center political and social causes in the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Europe, especially those within the Mediterranean region. Founded in 2003, the foundation claims that its mission is to prevent what it calls a “clash of civilizations” within the societies it targets with its campaigns and investments.

The Lindh Foundation is active in more than 40 countries, conducting its outreach in English, French, and Arabic, and maintains a headquarters in Alexandria, Egypt. The foundation claims to have more than 4,500 organizations within its network and touts its disproportionate support for initiatives led by women. 1

The Lindh Foundation touts the support it receives from the European Union and maintains offices in a number of countries well outside the Mediterranean region, including Germany, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. 2 The foundation has also collaborated with the United Nations Population Fund, helping fund a 2016 study on mobilizing young people around the world as activists for United Nations-backed policy objectives. 3


Anna Lindh served as the foreign minister of Sweden, was a member of the Swedish Social Democratic party, and held office as vice chair of the International Union of Socialist Youth at one time. She was assassinated in 2003 by an immigrant from the Balkans who initially attempted to fake mental illness but eventually admitted to hating politicians, though he denied a political motivation for targeting Lindh specifically. According to The Guardian, Lindh was known as a supporter of the European Union and its intervention into the affairs of other nations. 4 5

The initiative which became the Anna Lindh Foundation was a project of Romano Prodi, a former president of the European Commission and former Prime Minister of Italy, who claimed he was trying to avoid a “clash of civilizations” between Europe and the Middle East due to the Global War on Terror. 6


The Anna Lindh Foundation maintains several lines of effort to produce activists, put pressure on governments, and promote its narratives in its target countries. 7

The Empowering Young Voices program oversees a virtual “dialogue and exchange” program which has a stated objective of steering young people away from what the foundation calls “extremist discourses.” The Lindh Foundation also participates in a related program run by the European Union. 8

Influencing Policy Makers supports polling and sociological research in its target countries and presents the results to government officials along with policy recommendations. In particular, the foundation develops approaches for policy makers to downplay public concerns about mass migration. 9

Leading a Movement funds and facilitates the creation and distribution of resources that promote its agenda. The foundation also coordinates the Med Forum, a series of conferences for influencers within its network, and runs an awards program for journalists whose work aligns with its own. 10

Programs and Partnerships

The foundation’s programs and partnerships include the annual Mediterranean Day, cosponsored with several regional nations. 11 It is a regional conference in which leaders of Union for the Mediterranean members spoke, such as French Minister Franck Riester and European Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi. The 1,000-plus attendees focused on workshops in which young activists were trained on how to advocate on behalf of climate change concerns. 12

The Foundation financed a study by the United Nations Population Fund on cultivating youth activists for greater global integration and reduced boundaries between societies. Funding was also provided by the Canadian, Irish, Italian, Norwegian, and Swedish governments, and other United Nations agencies. 13 14

It provided funding to a Maltese-based LGBT organization which seeks to liberalize the country’s marriage laws, create so-called “anti-discrimination” laws for businesses, and introduce hate crime legislation. 15

It provided funding to the controversial Al Quds Underground Israeli-Arab dialogue group which barred Israelis from a 2009 event. The Foundation defended the barring as taking place after Israeli attendees allegedly caused disruption the previous evening. 16


Rym al-Ali is the president of the Anna Lindh Foundation. She is a member of the royal family of the Kingdom of Jordan by way of marriage to Jordanian Prince Ali bin Hussein. Previously, she worked as a correspondent and producer for multiple major international media corporations, including CNN, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Bloomberg, and United Press International. She also founded the Jordan Media Institute, a journalism education center. 17

Josep Ferre is the executive director of the Lindh Foundation. An agronomic engineer by profession, he has worked on a wide variety of international development initiatives targeting Southern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. 18

Mari Neuvonen is the chair of the Lindh Foundation board of directors. She was previously a diplomat stationed at the embassy of Finland in Cairo, Egypt. She has also worked as an advisor to a European Union development project in Palestine and as a representative of Finland at the European Union headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. 19


Between 2018 and 2021, the Anna Lindh Foundation received a total of more than €10.7 million from the European Commission, as well as more than €6.2 million from individual member states and just under €700,000 from other benefactors, for a total of more than $17.7 million. Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Spain were among the largest governmental donors to the foundation from 2005to 2020, with each giving at least $1 million total. 20


  1. “About the Anna Lindh Foundation.” Anna Lindh Foundation. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://www.annalindhfoundation.org/about
  2. “Our Mandate.” Anna Lindh Foundation. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://communication.annalindh.org/our-mandate
  3. “Independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace, and Security.” United Nations Population Fund. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://www.unfpa.org/youth-peace-security
  4. Lars Ryding. “Anna Lindh.” The Guardian. September 11, 2003. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2003/sep/12/guardianobituaries
  5. “Anna Lindh killer ‘faked mental illness to get a less severe sentence’.” The Guardian. August 29, 2011. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/aug/29/anna-lindh-killer-mental-illness
  6. [1]“Our Story.” Anna Lindh Foundation. Accessed March 19, 2023.https://www.annalindhfoundation.org/our-story
  7. What We Do. Anna Lindh Foundation. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://www.annalindhfoundation.org/whatwedo
  8. “Empowering Young Voices.” Anna Lindh Foundation. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://www.annalindhfoundation.org/what-we-do/empowering-young-voices
  9. [1]“Influencing Policy Makers.” Anna Lindh Foundation. Accessed March 19, 2023.https://www.annalindhfoundation.org/what-we-do/influencing-policy-makers
  10.   [1]“Leading a Movement.” Anna Lindh Foundation. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://www.annalindhfoundation.org/what-we-do/leading-movement
  11. “Minister Fajon attends the Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean and EU-Southern Neighbourhood Ministerial Meeting.” Republic of Slovenia. November 24, 2022. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://www.gov.si/en/news/2022-11-24-minister-fajon-attends-the-regional-forum-of-the-union-for-the-mediterranean-and-eu-southern-neighbourhood-ministerial-meeting/
  12. “The UfM and the Anna Lindh Foundation support the advocacy of 200 young people on the future of the region.” Union for the Mediterranean. February 8, 2022. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://ufmsecretariat.org/forum-de-mondes-meditanneens/
  13. “Our Mandate.” Anna Lindh Foundation. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://communication.annalindh.org/our-mandate
  14. “Independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace, and Security.” United Nations Population Fund. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://www.unfpa.org/youth-peace-security
  15. [1]“Malta Gay Rights Movement.” Anna Lindh Foundation. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://www.annalindhfoundation.org/members/malta-gay-rights-movement
  16. Correspondence with Anna Lindh Foundation on Al Quds Underground.” NGO Monitor. November 30, 2009. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://www.ngo-monitor.org/correspondence_with_anna_lindh_foundation_on_al_quds_underground/
  17. “HRH Rym Ali.” Anna Lindh Foundation. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://www.annalindhfoundation.org/staff/rym-ali
  18. “Josep Ferré.” Anna Lindh Foundation. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://www.annalindhfoundation.org/staff/josep-ferre
  19. [1]“Dr. Mari Neuvonen.” Anna Lindh Foundation. Accessed March 19, 2023.https://www.annalindhfoundation.org/mari-neuvonen
  20. “Anna Lindh Foundation 15-Year Review 2005-2020.” Anna Lindh Foundation. Accessed March 19, 2023. https://www.annalindhfoundation.org/sites/default/files/2020-12/ALF_full-final-1.pdf
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