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EPA seeks pleas from Covid-hit publishers for emergency fund

SHARJAH, July 4, 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 coronavirus, Covid-19.
 
The Dh1 million ($272,208) fund was launched by the EPA last month in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, Sharjah Book Authority, and Sharjah Publishing City.
 
As per the criteria, all applicants must be active members of the EPA from 2018 to June 1, 2020, and ought to be working in the publishing, printing or distribution sectors,  said the statement from EPA. 
 
They also must have a valid commercial licence from either the Economic Development Departments or free zones across the UAE, it added. 
 
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, it stated.
 
To avail the monetary benefits, publishers must present proof of the amount of loss incurred as a result of the cancellation of contracts, book fairs or other cultural engagements between February and June 2020, it added.
 
EPA was founded in 2009 by Sheikha Bodour to develop the publishing sector in the UAE, and provide support and training to Emirati publishers.
 
According to EPA, publishers will be evaluated based on their efforts to sustain their business and ensure continuity of work through the pandemic. 
 
Additionally, only those businesses which did not terminate the contracts of their employees since the beginning of 2020 will be considered.
 
Outlining the objectives of the fund, EPA President Ali Obaid Bin Hatem emphasised that the association has chalked out key strategies to offer additional supporting to its membership.
 
Executive Director Rashid Al Kous said: "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 signalled new opportunities. EPA thanks its partners, MCKD, SBA and SPC, for joining hands with us."-TradeArabia News Service



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