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Why wearing glasses can help eradicate poverty

MEDIA RELEASE

The simple act of a child putting on a pair of glasses can contribute to global efforts to eradicate poverty, The Fred Hollows Foundation said today.

Foundation CEO Brian Doolan outlines the reasons why restoring sight contributes to economic growth, in a blog published by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to mark the International Day of People with Disability (Dec 3). In the blog, Mr Doolan said the day was a reminder of the direct link between preventable blindness and poverty. 

“Early vision loss has a huge impact on a child’s development, on their capacity to learn, and on their access to education,” Mr Doolan writes.

“For children in the most disadvantaged parts of the world, blindness locks them into the poverty cycle.

“Since around three-quarters of the world’s blind children live in the most disadvantaged regions of Africa and Asia, our work eliminating blindness is key to ending poverty. 

“According to UNESCO, if all students in low-income countries reached basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty.”

>The Foundation is working closely with the GPE to highlight the vital importance of early eye screening for children and the economic benefits of addressing childhood blindness.

The GPE is comprised of close to 60 developing countries, donor governments, international organisations, the private sector, teachers, and civil society/NGO groups.

It has fundamentally transformed international cooperation in education, as the only multilateral partnership devoted to getting all children into school for a quality education.

The Fred Hollows Foundation, one of the world’s leading charities working to eradicate preventable blindness, is at work in more than 20 developing countries.

To read the full blog post and join the discussion, go to: www.globalpartnership.org/blog

ENDS

Media Contact

Ann-Marie Wilcock, +61 475 691 227

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