Investing in Road Safety, a dire need

$10 million FIA Foundation pledged to new UN Global Road Safety Trust Fund

The FIA Foundation has pledged a donation of USD$10 million to kick start a new United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund, launched today (Thursday 12 April) by Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J.Mohammed.

The new UN Fund is intended to catalyse road safety action across the globe, using donations to help unlock new government and municipal funding and re-focus national road safety budgets towards proven ‘Safe System’ interventions.

The FIA Foundation’s pledge will help to leverage additional support for the Fund from governments, other philanthropies and the private sector to work towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of a 50% global reduction in road fatalities and injuries.

More than 1.3 million people are dying every year on the world’s roads, and a further 50 million are injured, of whom a significant majority are pedestrians particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Low- and middle-income countries, where 90% of deaths and injuries occur, are experiencing rapid motorisation and urbanisation, as well as serious issues of economic and political inequity. There is a strong economic case for investment: road traffic injuries cost countries between 3-5% of GDP, and a recent World Bank report identified that countries not investing in road safety could miss out on up to 22% in potential per capita GDP growth over a 24-year period.

The UN Economic Commission for Europe estimates that for every $100 million raised and deployed by the fund, a further $3.4 billion of country and city investment can be unlocked for infrastructure and road safety programmes, saving 64,000 lives and preventing 640,000 serious injuries. To meet the road safety sustainable development goal targets for road safety by 2030 will require at least $770 million per year in catalytic financing, so the stakes are high and the challenge great.

The FIA Foundation, a grant-making charity supporting road safety programmes and advocacy across the world, has a proud history of supporting efforts to increase global road safety financing: as the first donor to the World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility in 2005; in commissioning ground-breaking research calculating the real costs to health systems of road traffic injuries; in exploring the potential for road safety of social impact investing and micro-donations; and by highlighting the serious impact of road traffic injuries on efforts to reduce poverty.

Speaking at the launch of the UN Road Safety Trust Fund at UN headquarters in New York City, FIA Foundation Executive Director Saul Billingsley said: “The launch of this first ever UN Fund for global road safety is an important recognition that our collective efforts to tackle road safety must be scaled up. Governments have provided the mandate for action, but not yet the resources to deliver it. We urgently need a massive increase in funding, commensurate to the scale of the problem. With this $10 million pledge, the FIA Foundation is stepping up. Now we call on others to do the same.”

Jean Todt, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, said “I strongly welcome the establishment of the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund, which has the potential to galvanize our global efforts to address the road safety situation, building on the progress made and experience gained over the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. I call on the support of all partners in mobilizing the resources necessary to reduce the number of fatalities on the world’s roads”.

About the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund

The General Assembly in April 2016 adopted resolution 70/260, which requested the Secretary-General “to consider the possibility of establishing, from voluntary contributions, a Road Safety Trust Fund, to support the implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action and the road safety-related Sustainable Development Goals, as appropriate, and to report thereon to Member States.” Pursuant to this resolution, UNECE was tasked by the Secretary-General to be the lead entity in developing a proposal for establishing such a fund in collaboration with key stakeholders.

Following extensive consultations between November 2016 and August 2017, a proposal was presented to the Secretary-General in September 2017.

The Secretary-General formally expressed his support for the establishment of the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund, dated 29 December 2017, requesting for UNECE and his Special Envoy for Road Safety to take all necessary steps to establish the Fund in line with the submitted proposal.

The Secretariat of the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund will be hosted by UNECE, and the Administrative Agent is the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office based at UNDP.

The Fund will support concrete actions aligned with the five pillars of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety, namely:

1. Strengthened road safety management capacities
2. Improved safety of road infrastructure and broader transport networks
3. Enhanced safety of vehicles
4. Improved behaviour of road users
5. Improved post-crash care

About the FIA Foundation

The FIA Foundation is an independent UK registered charity which supports an international programme of activities promoting road safety, the environment and sustainable mobility. Our aim is to ensure ‘Safe, Clean, Fair and Green’ mobility for all, playing a part to ensure a sustainable future through:

promoting research, disseminating the results of research and providing information in any matters of public interest which include road safety, automobile technology, the protection and preservation of human life and public health, transport and public mobility and the protection of the environment;
and promoting improvement in the safety of motor sport, and of drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other road users which works globally to promote safe, clean fair and green mobility.

Figure 1 – Number of deaths from road crashes, 2010-2020

About the road safety targets of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by United Nations Member States in 2015, contains targets on road safety in two of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals:

Sustainable Development Goal 3
“Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”.
Target 3.6: By 2020, halve the number of global deaths from road traffic accidents.

Sustainable Development Goal 11
“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.
Target 11.2: By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.

Kate Turner
Media & Public Affairs Manager
FIA Foundation

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