$14 billion cumulative investment is needed to eliminate poor vision, the world’s largest disability, by 2050

  • New evidenced-based report, with analytical support from McKinsey & Company, quantifies the scale of the uncorrected poor vision crisis and relevant solutions
  • Key findings were today presented and debated during a panel discussion on the sidelines of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

(Charenton-le-Pont, 24 September 2019) – Essilor International, subsidiary of EssilorLuxottica, today published a ground-breaking report that defines the global scale of uncorrected poor vision – the world’s largest disability which overwhelmingly impacts the developing world – and outlines for the first time solutions to eliminate it within one generation.1 According to the report, a total investment of $14 billion over the next 30 years is required to eliminate uncorrected poor vision by 2050.

Uncorrected poor vision2 is the world’s most widespread disability: it affects 2.7 billion3 people across the globe, 90 percent of whom live at the economic base of the pyramid, and costs the global economy $272 billion in lost productivity each year. By 2050, uncorrected poor vision is predicted to reach epidemic proportions with over 50 percent of the world’s population expected to suffer from myopia, many with serious vision-threatening side effects and drastic long-term implications.

To gather more evidence-based insight into the scale of this vision care crisis, accelerate the identification of possible solutions and mobilize both public and private stakeholders, Essilor initiated the report “Eliminating poor vision in a Generation: What will it take to eliminate uncorrected refractive errors by 2050?” using analytical support provided by McKinsey. Its findings suggest that uncorrected poor vision can be eliminated by 2050 through an investment of $14 billion over the next 30 years, dedicated to creating sustainable access points to eyecare, innovating for affordable solutions, funding subsidized and free services, and raising awareness.

Hubert Sagnières, Executive Vice-Chairman of EssilorLuxottica and Chairman of Essilor International, commented: “As the world leader in ophthalmic optics, and a firm believer in business as a force for good, our ambition is to eliminate poor vision within one generation. While there have been many successful initiatives by both public and private actors in recent years, there is clearly a need to do more to bring good vision to everyone. At the same time, there is simply no blueprint to achieve our ambition. This report will provide the necessary guidance while engaging the different stakeholders towards one goal. It illustrates our endeavor to take our efforts further by investigating this vision crisis and uncovering how to solve it. Governments, NGOs, bilateral and multilateral organizations, donors, eye care professionals and the private sector all have a role to play as we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to end a public health crisis.”

Using the key findings of the report as a starting point, Essilor hosted a panel discussion, in partnership with the social enterprise and media platform Devex, on the sidelines of 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The discussions examined how public and private stakeholders can jointly overcome the obstacles to meeting the 2050 target of universal vision. The event, held on 24 September 2019, gathered representatives from non-governmental organizations, health communities, multilateral agencies and international bodies.

1 Supported by research from McKinsey & Company.
2 ‘Poor vision’ is defined as refractive errors (RE) and ‘uncorrected poor vision’ as uncorrected refractive errors (URE).
3 McKinsey & Company estimates the number of people suffering from URE in 2018 to be 2.7 billion people (those with a Visual Acuity of 6/9 or worse) while making the case to create a sustainable infrastructure that can service many more. Figures are indicative, not absolute. Refer to ‘Methodology’ section in report for more information.


Relations Presse Essilor
Maïlis Thiercelin
Tel.: +33 (0)1 49 77 45 02

Communication Mission Essilor
Lauren Wyper
Tel.: +65 97 29 04 23



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