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The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) has confirmed that 19 publishing houses of a total of 40 applicants selected by their AED 1 million Emirates Publishers Emergency Fund have already shared progress reports on ways they have utilised their AED 356,551 allotment to revitalise their businesses impacted by the economic fallout of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

During the EPA’s seventh board member meeting which was held recently, the association also shared that applications submitted by the remaining 21 publishers are currently under process.

EPA’s AED1 million Emirates Publishers Emergency Fund was launched in June to support EPA members whose businesses were disrupted in the wake of the pandemic.

Amongst the key issues addressed during the meeting were the current publishing realities, strategies to overcome the crisis, and development agenda to sustain the sector and its respective value chains. Members and senior officials also discussed issues of copyright infringement and its impact on the book industry across the UAE.

EPA has also confirmed it will be participating in the 39th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) with the Manassah platform, which the entity launched last year to give EPA members the opportunity to showcase their creative offerings at regional and international book fairs and cultural events.

Ali Bin Hatem, President of EPA, stressed that the fund aligns with EPA’s commitment to support publishers and leverage their businesses that have been impacted following the outbreak of COVID-19. He pointed out that the support will be in the interest of the publishing sector and will pave the way for the sustainability of publishers’ businesses.

He added, “The world is witnessing extraordinary challenges and we need to face up to the realities facing the publishing industry. The systematic closure as well as cancellation of leading cultural events, book selling activities and supply chain have greatly affected the publishing sector. EPA’s launch of the Emergency Fund exemplifies the keenness of Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi in supporting Emirati publishers. Today, EPA is providing the beneficiaries with ample capital to achieve its twin objectives of extending support to publishers and revitalising the publishing industry.”