A Vision Catalyst Fund (VCF) is being set up to support the creation and development of national scale, government-owned eye health services which are sustainably financed for entire populations. The venture’s founding partners include Standard Chartered, UBS, Essilor, James Chen and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
The VCF will work in alignment with the eye health sector to drive government leadership in eye care programmes and catalyse further funding for vision by generating clear evidence of the benefits of investment. The goal of the VCF is to work with governments to both strengthen health systems and build markets to provide great access to quality eye care. An innovative financial model is being developed to raise funds from capital markets. The VCF is currently working on plans for its pilot initiatives, which will be created in partnership with governments. More information will be shared with the eye care sector as plans develop in the coming months.
The Vision Catalyst Fund seeks to raise USD 1bn to bring vision to everyone, everywhere. To date Essilor has pledged a donation of 200 million pairs of lenses and a cash donation of $10 million has been pledged for the future programme spend. An initial pilot phase is expected to begin in 2020 with a public launch later in the year.
Image on top: Recovering Retinoblastoma patients by Terry Cooper