Home Press centre Press releases 1.2 million brand-new, publisher-donated books reach readers in 2023

1.2 million brand-new, publisher-donated books reach readers in 2023

Book Aid International is delighted to announce that last year, with the support of the UK publishing industry, it sent over 1,235,900 brand-new, publisher-donated books to readers in 22 countries.  None of the charity’s work would be possible without partnerships, and in 2023 the organisation worked with 164 partners around the world. 

As part of its three-year Power of Books strategy the charity is committed to reaching the people who face the greatest barriers to reading and learning.  This includes a focus on supporting refugees, working with partners across Africa and the Middle East to offer thousands of people who have fled conflicts the chance to read and learn.  In 2023 the charity sent almost 74,000 books to refugees in nine countries.  The organisation is also committed to supporting fragile and conflict affected states and sent an additional shipment of 25,000 books to Ukraine as part of the ‘Unbreakable Libraries’ initiative. This initiative took part in collaboration with PEN Ukraine, PEN International and English PEN.  The first batch of these books has now been sent to the Donetsk region which is closest to the frontline.   

Book Aid International also launched its Generation Reader campaign in 2023, to give those young people in Africa who face the greatest challenges, access to books and the power to unlock their potential.  In its first year the campaign has gifted over 152,000 brand-new books, reaching a potential 1.1 million young readers.  As part of the programme and working with partners such as AfriKids in Ghana and the WE-CARE library in Liberia the charity is helping to create safe spaces for children to read. 

In addition, last year the charity established over 180 school and community libraries, trained over 260 teachers and librarians and funded the purchase of over 10,000 locally published books through its programme of funded projects. 

The Charity’s Chief Executive, Alison Tweed, commented on the year saying:  

“2023 has proved to be challenging year – with the devastating impact of climate change, ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza and the ever-rising cost of living which has tipped so many individuals and communities into real hardship. We know that the books we send are giving millions of people the opportunity to read and the power to transform their lives.  We want to thank every single organisation who supported us last year and we look forward to reaching even more readers in 2024.” 

Imogen Poole, Sales & Marketing Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, Cambridge University Press, International Education & English said: 

“Cambridge University Press and Assessment is proud to partner with Book Aid International on the invaluable work they do across Sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, the Books To Go project, with its emphasis on teacher and librarian training and reading for pleasure, aligns closely with our ambition to support people in pursuing their potential through education and research.” 

The charity would like to extend a special thank you to Bloomsbury, Cambridge University Press and Assessment, Elsevier, Hachette, Oxford University Press, Macmillan, Pearson, Sage Publishing and Wiley for their particularly generous support in 2023. 

To find out about how you can be a part of sharing the power of books with readers around the world, visit Support us – Book Aid International.  


Notes to editors 


Please find a selection of images and the Book Aid International logo here: 


Further information  

Please contact Henri Yoxall: 

07887 651 285 

About Book Aid International  

Book Aid International provides over one million new books every year in the places where they will make the biggest difference and sets up libraries, trains people to run them and works with its partners to spark a love of reading.  

Together with its 185 partners worldwide, the charity provides books everywhere from refugee camps, prisons and hospitals to remote schools where there has never been a library before. 

All of the books the charity provides from the UK are donated by publishers, and Book Aid International receives no government grants or support. To find out more or to help send the next book visit bookaid.org.  

Book Aid International is a registered charity in England and Wales. Charity number 313869.