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Seeing is Believing reaches USD75m fundraising milestone to tackle avoidable blindness

09/10/2014Sustainability / Global

To mark World Sight Day this year, Standard Chartered has announced that its Seeing is Believing programme has reached a fundraising milestone of USD75 million, progressing towards its target to raise USD100 million by 2020, to bring affordable eye-care in areas of high need.

Seeing is Believing is Standard Chartered’s global charitable initiative to tackle avoidable blindness run in partnership with the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). As one of the biggest corporate contributors seeking to eliminate avoidable blindness, Seeing is Believing has reached 53 million people across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

The global economic cost of blindness is estimated to be USD200 billion per year. Across the world, 39 million people are blind and 246 million people suffer from visual impairment. With 90 per cent of avoidable blindness occurring in low and middle income countries, it is an issue with particular resonance in many markets where Standard Chartered operates. Through Seeing is Believing, Standard Chartered aims to addresses a key health issue that diminishes the quality of life of individuals and impacts economic growth.

David Fein, Chairman of Seeing is Believing and Group General Counsel of Standard Chartered, said: “Started in 2003 as a staff-driven initiative, Seeing is Believing has grown to an international campaign which has supported 96 eye health projects in 26 countries worldwide.

“Building on the great momentum, we pledged at the Clinton Global Initiative 2011 to raise USD100 million by 2020 to tackle avoidable blindness. Thanks to the great efforts of our staff, clients, partners and friends, today we announce that we are well on course to hit our fundraising target. While we are delighted with progress so far, avoidable blindness is still an under-acknowledged health issue, and it will not be eliminated without the support of many. Corporations and individuals, donors and volunteers – today, on World Sight Day, we call on you to join us in the fight to eliminate avoidable blindness.”

You can donate to Seeing is Believing by visiting Every donation is matched by Standard Chartered, thereby doubling the impact.

For further information, please contact:

Jeanette McKenna
Head of Seeing is Believing and Health Programmes
Standard Chartered Bank
+44(0) 207 885 7510

Note to Editors

Standard Chartered

We are a leading international banking group, with more than 86,000 employees and a 150-year history in some of the world’s most dynamic markets. We bank the people and companies driving investment, trade and the creation of wealth across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, where we earn around 90 per cent of our income and profits. Our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good.

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

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Seeing is Believing

Seeing is Believing is a global initiative to help tackle avoidable blindness, and is a collaboration between Standard Chartered and the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and leading eye care organisations.  It raises funds for investment in eye care projects that have long-term impact in areas of high need.

Seeing is Believing contributes to ‘VISION 2020: The Right to Sight’, the global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the IAPB.To date, Seeing is Believing has raised over USD75 million for blindness initiatives and plans to raise a further USD25 million by 2020.

Seeing is Believing is the largest cash contributor to VISION 2020 through IAPB. As part of the Seeing is Believing programme, Standard Chartered pledges to match all donations until the target of USD100 million is reached.

What’s next?

Helping others to see

We want to raise USD100mn to help tackle avoidable blindness in some of our poorest communities.

About our programme

Seeing is Believing

We raise money to prevent and treat avoidable blindness - matching every donation.

Learn more and donate

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