Improving vision can stimulate economy

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Essilor has joined new multi-stakeholder coalition EYElliance and contributed to a new report – published earlier this week by the World Economic Forum – that highlights the strong case for investment in eyeglasses provision to generate significant socio-economic development gains.

Along with new data highlighting the scale of the world’s visual divide, and examples of validated, scalable models, including Essilor’s Eye Mitra model in India, the report also publishes a set of recommendations for governments, businesses and development partners that are keen to address this global challenge.

“We are excited to partner with EYElliance and to co-sign this important call to action alongside several esteemed personalities from the private and public sectors,” said Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, Chief Mission Officer at Essilor International. “Our experience in developing solutions to reach the 2.5 billion people with uncorrected poor vision confirms the importance of cross-sector collaboration between governments, businesses, philanthropists and the eye-care community in order to close the gap in access to eyeglasses and help improve the future educational and employment opportunities of millions of children and adults worldwide.”
Of the 4.5 billion people who need vision correction, only 1.9 billion actually correct their eyesight. Over 2.5 billion people still live with uncorrected poor vision, and its social and economic consequences. 95% of them live in developing countries where they lack awareness of the impact of poor vision and access to basic vision care solutions.

In 2015, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and inclusive businesses collectively distributed less than 8 million pairs of eyeglasses in developing countries. Essilor accounted for 1/5 of these eyeglasses, distributed through its inclusive business division 2.5 New Vision Generation and its strategic giving initiatives in over 30 countries. The Group has been scaling up these initiatives since 2013, with a particular focus on innovative inclusive business models, and has equipped over 2.5 million poor and low-income individuals with locally affordable eyeglasses over the past three years.

To read the report, go to https://visionimpactinstitute.org/research/eyeglasses-global-developmentbridging-visual-divide/.

For more information on Essilor’s initiatives to improve vision care access for the 2.5 billion uncorrected people worldwide, go to www.essilorseechange.com.

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