Bank gives £12m to cure blindness
Thursday 10th October 2013, 12:11AM BST.
British multinational bank Standard Chartered has pledged more than £12 million to help a charitable trust, established to mark the Diamond Jubilee, eradicate avoidable blindness.
Former prime minister Sir John Major, chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, described the financial support as “an extraordinarily generous gesture”.
Standard Chartered will donate 20 million US dollars (£12.4 million) over five years with the money used by the Trust to deliver projects in Africa tackling trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness, and others in India combating the loss of sight in premature babies caused by sub-standard care or infections.
Sir John said: “It is an extraordinarily generous gesture from Standard Chartered, and will make a huge difference to the international effort under way to eradicate avoidable blindness amongst some of the world’s poorest people.
“The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust was established to provide a lasting legacy to Her Majesty the Queen across the Commonwealth, and this partnership embodies the spirit of what the trust is aiming to achieve.”
The donated funds will support a programme designed to develop expertise in eye care and strengthen health systems across the Commonwealth.
It will also help introduce potentially life-changing new technologies that will enable eye care to be delivered for a fraction of the current cost in rural and isolated areas.
Sir John Peace, chairman of Standard Chartered, said: “The gift of sight is something that most individuals take for granted, yet there are still many people around the world and in the countries in which we operate who are needlessly blind.
“This is an issue that Standard Chartered has been helping to tackle for a decade.”