The USAID Child Blindness Program (CBP)

Two children wearing glasses and smiling

Geoff Oliver Bugbee/Orbis International

Through quality, innovative programs, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is preventing and treating blindness, restoring sight and providing eyeglasses to thousands of people in the poorest communities of the world. The Child Blindness Program (CBP) features prominently in USAID’s approach to the elimination of blindness. CBP originated through a Congressional directive in 1991 to deal specifically with the problem of child blindness. Since then, more than 31 eye care and health non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have received grants totaling approximately $30 million to implement eye care interventions in 58 countries. The primary interventions have included eye health education, vision screening, provision of eyeglasses and other visual aids, cataract and other sight-restoring surgery, education and rehabilitation services, provision of antibiotics and other essential medicines and training of medical staff and community-based individuals. The sustainability of interventions depends on high quality care, sufficient human resources, state-of-the-art training, increased demand for services, affordable costs, adequate and functional equipment and efficient clinical and organizational management systems.

Map of countries where child blindness programs exist


Young boy looking through special glasses

Esther Havens/Warby Parker

Goal 1: To increase the number of children provided with quality eye care services by:

  • Increasing the availability and accessibility to quality eye health and vision services for children and other vulnerable populations;
  • Improving the capacity of eye care organizations by strengthening administrative, technical, and/or financial functions.

Goal 2: To increase global knowledge of pediatric eye care through innovation and the implementation of best practices by:

  • Testing, designing and expanding the scale of innovative approaches for eye care in various country contexts;
  • Increasing the evidence base for effective approaches leading to scale-up of pediatric eye care programs.


Aravind Eye Care System India
Advocate for Youth Ghana
African Union for the Blind (AFUB) Rwanda
Child Sight Foundation (CSF) Bangladesh
Christian Blind Mission (CBM) Haiti & India
Consejo de Salud Rural Andino (CSRA) Bolivia
Fred Hollows Foundation (FHF) Vietnam
Fundacion para el Desarrollo de la Mujer (FUDEM) El Salvador
Helen Keller International (HKI) Indonesia, Niger & Nigeria
Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) Nepal
International Center for Eyecare Education (ICEE) South Africa
International Relief and Development (IRD) Laos
International Eye Foundation Malawi
International Rescue Committee (IRC) Ethiopia, Kenya & Thailand
Kilimanjaro Center for Community Ophthalmology (KCCO) Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania & Zambia
Orbis International Ethiopia, India & Peru
Perkins School for the Blind Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico & Philippines
Rose Charities Children’s Surgical Center Cambodia
Sadguru Netra Chikitsalaya (SNC) India
Scojo Foundation India
Seva Foundation Cambodia & Nepal
SightSavers International (SSI) Malawi & Uganda
Tanzania Society for the Blind Tanzania
VisionSpring India


Last updated: November 24, 2014

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