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Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, founder and former president of the Emirates Publishers Association, EPA, has announced the launch of a AED1 million ($272,260) “Emirates Publishers Emergency Fund’ to support a host of publishers in the UAE whose businesses have been severely impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
EPA said in a statement that it will be entrusted with the task of coordinating and communicating with Emirati bookmakers, and will also guide them on ways to avail of the provisions included in the fund. “The fund aims to reach affected publishers operating within the country, and by identifying the complex challenges the industry is grappling with, it will further boost efforts to ensure the continuity of their businesses,” it explained.
Commenting on the fund and its vision, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi said: “The global publishing industry is among the vital economic sectors that has slowed down considerably due to the pandemic. With every crisis, comes an opportunity, and we need to rope in appropriate mechanisms to boost industry resilience and emerge out of it stronger. Today, we stand with our publishers to support and lead them onward to fulfilling vital projects that will boost our knowledge and creativity.
“It is with the unfolding of a crisis that cooperation and teamwork gain more value than ever. The publishing sector and the cultural community in the UAE have strongly upheld this approach as we navigate current uncertainties and work towards securing our future. The ‘Emirates Publishers Emergency Fund’ is a fresh step in the direction, reflecting a more collaborative approach in promoting the written word. Safeguarding publishers and promoting the local knowledge industry is the need of the hour as the pandemic has proven beyond doubt the efficacy of the book as the most sustainable tool for spreading awareness, promoting values of peace and coexistence, and encouraging cultural dialogue.”
The objectives set out by the fund will be achieved in partnership with the Sharjah Book Authority and Sharjah Publishing City.
EPA added that more information on the guidelines and how to avail the fund will be announced at a later date.