Standard Chartered yesterday announced that it has reached the goal it set in 2011 to raise $100 million for the fight against avoidable blindness and visual impairment. The goal has been reached two years ahead of the bank’s 2020 target date.
The news was shared with employees, clients and charity partners at a recent event to mark the bank’s 15 years of Seeing is Believing (SiB), Standard Chartered’s global partnership with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to tackle avoidable blindness and visual impairment.
The money raised through SiB has reached more than 167 million people through medical interventions, eye examinations, and eye health education and training.
The initiative has funded 184 eye health projects in 37 countries, supported 4.4 million sight-restoring surgeries and trained more than 318,000 health workers.
The Group General Counsel and Chairman, Seeing is Believing, David Fein explained that: “Seeing is Believing has changed the lives of millions of individuals and families by providing eye health services that enable many to return to education and work.
“As a result, this has boosted local economies and strengthened communities.
“Avoidable blindness is a key health issue across Standard Chartered’s footprint. Globally, there are an estimated 36 million blind people and a further 217 million people suffering from moderate or severe visual impairment. Yet 80 per cent of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured.”
Initially launched in 2003 to fund 28,000 sight-restoring surgeries, SiB has evolved into a leading multi-stakeholder partnership that is supporting comprehensive eye care solutions, strengthening eye health systems and fostering the development of new technologies across 37 countries.