The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has announced the winners of the 2017 International Literacy Prizes, which honours excellence and innovation in the field of global literacy.
The awards will be handed out to five laureates from Canada, Colombia, Jordan, Pakistan and South Africa on the occasion of International Literacy Day, which falls on September 8, the organisation said on Wednesday.
The prizes are divided into two categories, namely the Unesco Confucius Prize for Literacy sponsored by China, and the King Sejong Literacy Prize sponsored by South Korea.
This year's Confucius Prize, which rewards projects that benefit rural populations and out-of-school youth, particularly girls and women, is given to the AdulTICoProgram from Columbia, The Citizens Foundation from Pakistan, and the FunDza project from South Africa.
The King Sejong prize, dedicated to mother-tongue literacy education, is shared by the Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance from Canada and the We Love Reading programme from Jordan.
The five winners will each receive a medal, a certificate and $20,000.
Since 1967, the Unesco International Literacy Prizes have been awarded to more than 475 projects led by governments, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world.
According to UN figures, 750 million people in the world still lack basic reading and writing skills, and this population includes 102 million young people aged between 15 and 24.