Seeing is Believing

Seeing is Believing

Seeing is Believing is Standard Chartered Bank’s global initiative to tackle avoidable blindness and visual impairment[1]. It is a collaboration with International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and leading eye care organisations.  It raises funds for investment in eye care projects that aim to have long-term impact in areas of high need.

Standard Chartered has committed to raising USD100mn by 2020 for the programme through fundraising and Bank investment. In 2013, the Bank further extended its support for eye health by by committing USD 20mn to support the work of the Queen’s Diamond Jubillee Trust in helping the elimination of avoidable blindness.

Seeing is Believing addresses a key health issue across the Bank’s markets that diminishes the quality of life of individuals and negatively impacts economic growth. Seeing is Believing funds eye health projects in poor and underprivileged communities within the Bank’s footprint.  It targets areas of high need where access to affordable and quality eye care is low. The majority of Seeing is Believing funding is used to prevent and treat blindness and visual impairment but some funding also goes to supporting employment and educational opportunities for people who are permanently blind or have low vision and other projects that improve quality of life for the blind or those with low vision.

Despite the huge impact of tackling blindness, it remains a relatively neglected issue.

  • There are an estimated 39 million blind people in the world and a further 246 million who suffer from moderate or severe visual impairment.  80% of blindness and visual impairment is preventable or treatable.
  • 90% of avoidable blindness occurs in the developing world, negatively affecting economic growth in many of our markets.
  • It is estimated that the global economic cost of avoidable blindness and visual impairment is USD 200bn per annum.
  • Tackling blindness is a very cost-effective health intervention.  For example, cataract, the leading cause of avoidable blindness can be treated for as little as USD 30 or even less.
  • Recent research highlights that the returns to tackling avoidable blindness and visual impairment in developing countries are 4.1 times the additional cost required to eliminate it over 10 years.[2]

For more information on Seeing is Believing, to donate or raise funds, please visit

[1] Avoidable blindness is preventable or treatable forms of blindness.  80% of blindness and visual impairment is avoidable.

[2] ‘Investing in Vision’, Fred Hollows Foundation and Price Waterhouse Coopers (2012)


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