VISION 2020 is based
on the concept of a broad coalition of all international, nongovernmental and private
organizations, which collaborate with WHO in the prevention of blindness and eye care
delivery. They share the objective of eliminating avoidable blindness as a public health
problem by the year 2020, provided adequate resources are available. These organizations
will also jointly work to mitigate the implications of blindness in developmental, social,
economic and quality-of-life terms.
Today, the international community spends about US$80 million each year on the
prevention of blindness. This amount has to be at least doubled if the targets set by
VISION 2020 are to be achieved.
VISION 2020 will allow the international community to fight avoidable blindness
disease prevention and control;
training of personnel;
strengthening the existing eye care infrastructure;
use of appropriate and affordable technology; and
mobilization of resources.
The very first step towards VISION 2020 will be a global campaign to raise awareness
among peoples and governments about societal implications of blindness, as well as to
mobilize a strong, long-term political and professional commitment to eliminate avoidable
National decision-makers and donor agencies need to be convinced that financial and
human resources provided for the elimination of avoidable blindness are a sound,
What is new about the Global Initiative?
First, the common objective of eliminating avoidable blindness by 2020 will enable all
partners to work in a focused and coordinated manner. The joint
advocacy campaign will help raise global awareness about blindness and mobilize additional
resources to prevent or treat avoidable blindness.
Second, VISION 2020 will further develop and strengthen the primary health/eye care
approach to the problem of avoidable blindness. This will be done on the basis of the
invaluable international and national experience already gained through the ongoing
Finally, the Initiative will seek broad regional alliances and, eventually, a global
partnership for eye health. These partnerships are indispensable to establish
worldwide the fundamental human "Right to Sight" and thus save future
generations from the tragedy of needless blindness.
Implementation of VISION 2020
VISION 2020 will be implemented through 4 five-year plans, the first one starting in
2000. The three subsequent phases of implementation will commence in 2005, 2010 and 2015
respectively. During the ongoing preparatory period, priority is given to the issues of
advocacy, regional planning and resource mobilization.
The choice of the countries where VISION 2020 will be implemented is to be regionally
prioritized on the basis of the burden of blindness and of available resources.