EPA opens registrations for Emirates Publishers Emergency Fund
Fund launched by Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi to support and finance UAE publishers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
Sharjah, July 04, 2020:The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) has announced that it has begun accepting applications for the Emirates Publishers Emergency Fund launched by Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Founder and Former President of EPA, to support and finance UAE publishers impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The AED 1 million fund was launched by EPA this June in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development (MCKD), Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and Sharjah Publishing City (SPC).
Publishers need to submit their applications in Arabic or English, available on the organisation’s website: https://www.epa.org.ae, to avail of the fund’s provisions.
Criteria for submissions and evaluation
All applicants must be active members of EPA since 2018 until June 1, 2020, and ought to be working in the publishing, printing or distribution sectors. They also have a valid commercial licence from either the Economic Development Departments or free zones across the UAE. Only publishing houses that have not received any form of financial support since the start of 2020 will be considered by the Fund, while only one publishing house will be funded in case the owner has multiple outfits.
To avail the monetary benefits, publishers must present proof of the amount of loss incurred as a result of cancellation of contracts, book fairs or other cultural engagements between February – June 2020.
Publishers will also be evaluated on the basis of their efforts to sustain their business and esure continuity of work through the pandemic. Additionally, only those businesses which did not terminate their employees’ contracts since the beginning of 2020 will be considered.
Outlining the objectives of the ‘Emirates Publishers Emergency Fund’, EPA President Ali Obaid Bin Hatem emphasised that the fund reflects Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi’s commitment to support the sector by reducing the financial stress being faced by UAE-based publishing businesses thereby ensuring stability.
Extending his gratitude to Sheikha Bodour for her efforts to ensure the continued growth of the UAE’s publishing industry, he also noted that the EPA has chalked out key strategies to offer additional support to its membership.
The President added: “The publishing sector enhances the social and cultural fabric of the nation, and with a proven history of agility and resilience, also playes a key role in driving economic growth. This fund shines a light on the shared goals of various local entities operating in the cultural and educational sectors. Our allied efforts are all geared towards strengthening the Emirati book market and its competitiveness on both regional and international fronts.”
Speaking on the subject, Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director of EPA, commented: “We are looking forward to having publishers come up with innovative solutions to maintain the growing status of an energetic Emirati publishing industry. Although the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak have been multilayered, they have signaled new opportunities. We have seen an industry-wide willingness to explore and employ novel approaches indicating a huge potential for positive transformation of the sector. This is why this fund holds such importance – it’s what the industry needs. EPA thanks its partners, MCKD, SBA and SPC, for joining hands with us to bring this much-needed impetus for our publishers to life.”
“The fund is a continuation of Sheikha Bodour’s leading work for the publishing industry. It mirrors her vision for a balanced and stable sector,” he added.
EPA was founded in 2009 by Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, to develop the publishing sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and provide support and training to Emirati publishers. EPA is keen on advancing the publishing segment through cooperation with local and international entities working in the sector.