2021 proved to be another turbulent year, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting every country where we work, alongside conflicts and coups in Africa. Despite these challenges, most of our programmes were up and running again.
During the year, Sightsavers reached a huge number of people. We had a great year for delivering NTD treatments, rising from 42.1 million in 2020 to more than 172 million in 2021. We had a significant increase in the number of eye operations, from 287,000 to 410,000. We also raised a record amount of income, reaching almost $148 million (plus $133 million gifts in kind), our biggest ever cash total.
We were dismayed to see the UK government cutting our contracts and grants as budgets plummeted – in one case, exiting the Ascend NTD programme almost a year early. However, Sightsavers remains in good shape to tackle the future and launch new programmes to support our strategy.