International Publishers Association (IPA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF on Thursday, have launched a 'Read the World' campaign in commemoration of the International Children's Book Day.
Best remembered for his fairytales, the day is observed on the birthday of the prolific Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, on April 2.
Aimed at millions of young individuals around the world currently living in isolation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, various renowned authors are joining the initiative to read extracts of their books.
The launch kicked off with Italian author Elisabetta Dami, creator of the titular character 'Geronimo Stilton'.
“Children’s lives and routines have been turned upside down in just a few short weeks", said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
“Even when the outside world is out of bounds, for now, reading can remind children and young people that the transportive power of books is unlimited”.
According to WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom, “we understand the fear and anxieties many feel and know how the joy of reading can stimulate young minds, ease tensions and provide hope".
UNICEF statistics indicate that almost 90 percent of the world’s students are now affected by nationwide school closures due to the virus – more than 1.5 billion young people.
"Combined with the physical distancing being practiced across the globe it’s not surprising that many young people are feeling more isolated, anxious and uncertain", said UNICEF.
“These are uncharted waters for us all, and the psycho-social effects of prolonged isolation and social distancing are yet to be seen and understood,” said IPA President Hugo Setzer.
“All of us should take particular care of our mental health at the moment, and especially that of young minds. The IPA wanted to do something positive to bring children and their favourite".